Psychosocial Late Effects in Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer Diagnosed with Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Central Nervous System Tumor


J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2020 Aug 27. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2020.0086. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: The prevalence of psychosocial late effects and quality of life in adolescent and young adult (AYA)-aged survivors of pediatric cancer have been studied. Methods: The study was conducted in AYA survivors who had been diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or brain tumor, had completed treatment at least 1 year before the study, and were 15-39 years old at study enrollment. The control group consisted of healthy volunteers. A questionnaire comprised a demographic form, eight questions concerning mental health and the disease, and survey The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30. Controls received a questionnaire without questions concerning an illness. Results: Most of survivors believed that cancer treatment might have a serious influence on their health. Survivors significantly more frequently declared using drugs: neuroleptics, tranquilizers, and antidepressants than controls. Survivors of leukemia demonstrated significantly more problems in cognitive functioning than lymphoma survivors. Females were significantly more disabled in emotional functioning than males. Young adults more often reported dysfunction in emotional functioning compared to adolescents. Survivors who were assessed ≥10 years since therapy reported significantly more disadvantage in social functioning than those assessed <10 years since treatment completion. Survivors reported significantly more disadvantages in social functioning than controls. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation survivors more often suffered cognitive limitations. Irradiated survivors more often attended psychological therapy. Conclusions: Survivors of pediatric cancer are vulnerable to consequences of oncological treatment, making their quality life significantly worse in comparison with healthy controls. They need to be monitored, supported, and educated.