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February 2016

For Patients With Cancer, Cure Is Not Enough

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(2):176-178. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.4392

Advances in cancer therapy have led to increased survival; there are more than 9 million 5-year survivors of cancer in the United States.1 As this number continues to grow, focus on improved health and quality of life becomes a priority. It is especially important in survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer who have 5-year survival rates exceeding 80%1 and who are expected to live many decades after diagnosis and treatment. Because of their young age at treatment, this population is the most vulnerable to long-term detrimental effects of cancer therapy. Many studies have shown that childhood and adolescent cancer survivors are at increased risk for chronic medical problems and emotional late effects as they age.2-5 These late effects influence overall health and quality of life.

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