HealthDay News In an article published online Dec. 29 in Cancers, long-term adverse and positive outcomes are described for survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Charlotte Sleurs, Ph.D., from the University Hospital Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues examined potential risk factors for decreased quality of life and life challenges in long-term childhood ALL survivors enrolled in studies between 1971 and 1998. Self-report questionnaires were obtained from 186 survivors (median time since diagnosis, 20.5 years), including the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) and Impact of Cancer-Childhood Survivors (IOC-CS).

The researchers observed no association for mental component scores of SF-12 with any risk factor. Relapsed, irradiated, and National Cancer Institute high-risk patients had lower physical component scores. In female, younger (younger than 6 years), and relapsed patients, the life challenges IOC-CS subscale was more negatively impacted by cancer. In relapsed versus nonrelapsed patients, the personal growth subscale was more positively impacted, while body and health and socializing were less positively impacted. In older patients (older than 6 years), socializing was more positively impacted.


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“Given that younger, female, and relapsed patients might experience more life challenges up to many years after treatment, psychosocial support focusing on this issue could be recommended,” the authors write. “On the other hand, relapse, irradiation, and high-risk categorization might lead to more physical challenges, which should receive specialized physiotherapeutic interventions, including support of a healthier lifestyle.”

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