Childhood cancer survivors less likely to marry, researchers find

November 3, 2009,

Adult survivors of childhood cancer are 20 to 25 percent more likely to never marry compared with siblings and the general population, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Nina Kadan-Lottick, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, and colleagues studied almost 9,000 adult survivors of participating in the multisite Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. The team evaluated the frequency of marriage and divorce rates among survivors compared with their sibling groups in the U.S. Census data. Participants completed mailed surveys every two to three years on their health and psychosocial status in an ongoing study.

Results showed that an estimated 42 percent of survivors were married, 7.3 percent were separated or divorced and 46 percent were never married. Patients who were previously treated for a brain tumor were 50 percent more likely than and the general U.S. population to never marry. Of the childhood who did marry, divorce patterns were similar to their peers.

"Our findings suggest that in addition to the long-term physical effects of cancer, such as short stature, poor physical functioning and cognitive problems, social implications also exist," said Kadan-Lottick, who is a member of Yale Cancer Center.

Kadan-Lottick estimates that over 80 percent of children with cancer will be cured of their disease. She and her colleagues conducted the study to measure long-term outcomes in this growing population of childhood cancer survivors. Marriage is one of the indicators of an adult's integration in society.

"Studies such as ours are important to understand how childhood cancer survivors function in our society," said Lottick. "Separate studies are underway to better understand factors that contribute to other adult benchmarks such as living independently, achieving higher education and personal income."

Source: Yale University (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study tracks evolutionary transition to destructive cancer

February 23, 2018
Evolution describes how all living forms cope with challenges in their environment, as they struggle to persevere against formidable odds. Mutation and selective pressure—cornerstones of Darwin's theory—are the means ...

Researchers use a molecular Trojan horse to deliver chemotherapeutic drug to cancer cells

February 23, 2018
A research team at the University of California, Riverside has discovered a way for chemotherapy drug paclitaxel to target migrating, or circulating, cancer cells, which are responsible for the development of tumor metastases.

Lab-grown 'mini tumours' could personalise cancer treatment

February 23, 2018
Testing cancer drugs on miniature replicas of a patient's tumour could help doctors tailor treatment, according to new research.

An under-the-radar immune cell shows potential in fight against cancer

February 23, 2018
One of the rarest of immune cells, unknown to scientists a decade ago, might prove to be a potent weapon in stopping cancer from spreading in the body, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Putting black skin cancer to sleep—for good

February 22, 2018
An international research team has succeeded in stopping the growth of malignant melanoma by reactivating a protective mechanism that prevents tumor cells from dividing. The team used chemical agents to block the enzymes ...

Cancer risk associated with key epigenetic changes occurring through normal aging process

February 22, 2018
Some scientists have hypothesized that tumor-promoting changes in cells during cancer development—particularly an epigenetic change involving DNA methylation—arise from rogue cells escaping a natural cell deterioration ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.