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High unemployment after childhood cancers

Survivors of childhood cancers are at higher risk of unemployment as adults.

One-sixth of the former paediatric cancer patients is unemployed.

This is the conclusion drawn from a systematic literature search by Mader and colleagues from the University of Lucerne in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

The meta-analysis of all controlled studies showed that former paediatric cancer patients were 1.5 times as likely to be unemployed as subjects of control populations.

Patients with previous brain tumours were even more affected by unemployment.

The survival rates of children with cancer has improved substantially over the past decades.

This has resulted in an increasing population of adult survivors.

Former paediatric cancer patients are, however, at great risk of late physical sequelae, as the authors explain.

Two thirds of long-term survivors had at least one chronic health impairment, and almost 30% had severe impairments.

Although many adult survivors of paediatric cancers handle such health problems well, more than a few of them were experiencing problems in psychosocial areas, especially relating to gainful employment in adulthood.

On the basis of their study results, the authors speak out in favour of increased attempts to provide long-term care for affected persons.

Targeted psychosocial follow-up care in survivors of childhood cancers may contribute to successful integration into the employment market.

Source: Deutsches Ärzteblatt International

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