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Current lifestyle of young adults treated for cancer in childhood.
  1. S E Evans,
  2. M Radford
  1. Department of Child Health, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital.

    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to look at the current lifestyle of young adult survivors of childhood cancer between the ages of 16 and 30 years to document their achievements and expose any psychosocial problems. Sixty six young adult survivors were contacted and asked if they and their siblings (16-30 years) would take part in a lifestyle study; 48 patients and 38 sibling controls were interviewed. This took the form of a structured lifestyle questionnaire, a self esteem questionnaire (Oxford Psychologists Press), and an unstructured interview. Fifty five per cent of patients achieved five or more A-C grades at 'O' level/GCSE compared with 62% of siblings and a national average of 30%. Despite that these patients were significantly less likely to go on to higher education than their siblings. The two groups were equally employable and earning similar salaries. There were three cases of known employer prejudice. A slightly higher percentage of patients than siblings had their driving licence. Seventeen patients felt their appearance had changed and eight felt that they had a residual physical mobility problem. Both groups were socially active and equally likely to partake in competitive sports. There was no overall difference in the self esteem of the two groups. In general the survivors of childhood cancer were coping well in their young adult life and achieving the same lifestyle goals as their siblings. However, significant problems have been identified.

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