Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Young Cancer Survivors at Risk for Behaviors That Raise Future Cancer Risk

Research: Intervention needed for young cancer survivors at risk due to unhealthy behavior

A significant number of young survivors of childhood cancers smoke, are physically inactive and/or don’t use sunscreen, according to researchers at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. While these behaviors can be a future cancer risk to adolescents who have not had cancer, they can pose special peril to those who have been treated for the disease, investigators say.

Their study, published recently in Pediatric Blood & Cancer, samples 75 adolescent cancer survivors whose average age was 14, and found 28 percent reported one of the three risk factors, 12 percent reported two of the three, and 7 percent reported all three. This is among the first studies to look at multiple behavioral risk factors among adolescent cancer survivors.

“Our findings suggest that young survivors need ongoing assistance in dealing with these issues--much as do all children,” said the lead author, Kenneth Tercyak, assistant professor of oncology and pediatrics. “The key difference here is that we believe these survivors are an especially vulnerable population and any lifestyle risk they take may increase their chance of cancer recurrence and/or the onset of chronic disease in adulthood.”

Some of these youths may be especially “stress prone,” and thus more likely to have difficulty protecting their health, Tercyak said. “We have looked within a group of survivors to better understand what might lead some survivors toward risky behaviors, and have found that older children and those with more personal and family stress appear to be at greatest risk,” he said.

The research was conducted through the SHARE (Survivor Health and Resilience Education) Program, a health counseling program offered in cooperation with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Through the SHARE Program, survivors of childhood cancer received information and counseling about eating healthy, exercising, living well, and other tips to stay healthy. This research was funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Cancer survivors are at increased risk for developing cancer for specific reasons, researchers say. For example, skin and lung cancer risk increases if a patient has been treated with radiation as part of treatment, and certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, can weaken lungs, making them more susceptible to future disease.

Young cancer patients are strongly encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle “in an effort to possibly manage their disease recurrence risk and to help them to continue to lead healthy lives,” Tercyak said. “Their primary disease may be cured, but they remain at increased health risk.”

To find out if these healthy lifestyles were being followed, the researchers surveyed patients between ages 11-21, who were one or more years from treatment and were cancer-free for one or more years. More than one-half of respondents were girls that had been treated for leukemia, and most were white, living in dual parent households in areas with upper middle class incomes, reportedly earning As and Bs in school.

The researchers found that 15 percent of the patients had a history of cigarette use, 20 percent engaged in insufficient physical activity, and 37 percent did not use sun protection as recommended. Patients with these behavioral risk factors tended to be older, had greater symptoms of stress, and reported greater family discord.

These results suggest that because stress may mediate or moderate the health promotion behaviors in this special population, interventions to address personal and family stress levels are warranted, Tercyak said.

Collaborators on the study included Aziza Shad, director of pediatric hematology and oncology at Lombardi and founder of Lombardi’s Late Effects Clinic for Cancer Survivors and Revonda Mosher of Children's National Medical Center.

About Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 39 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to

Becky Wexler | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>