December 9, 1988

Fate of Childhood Cancer Survivors Comes Under Increasing Scrutiny

JAMA. 1988;260(22):3246-3247. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410220016003

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THEIR NUMBERS approach 50 000. They range in age from early teens to late 40s. They are male and female, most white, a very few black. They live in cities, suburbs, and small towns. They share one piece of personal history: they had cancer as a child and survived.

As their ranks swell in testimony to the successes of pediatric oncology, new issues are coming under scrutiny. "Until about five or ten years ago, oncologists were happy just to see a kid [alive and] walking down the corridor," notes Elizabeth Thompson, MD, director of the After Cancer Therapy Center at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. "As cancer has become much more of a chronic illness, now we can focus on the late effects."

Assessing Consequences  Thompson is one of a growing number of investigators across the country who are trying to assess the psychosocial consequences of having been