Though the study linked and excerpted below involves pediatric cancer patients and I was an AYA cancer patient, the study could be talking about me. I underwent high-dose chemotherapy including anthracyclines, and corticosteroids among other chemotherapy regimes and just like the study subjects I developed brain, heart and nerve damage.
The real issue for cancer patients who are going to live for decades after aggressive chemotherapy is if anything can be done to minimize or eliminate the damage done by toxic chemotherapy that we undergo.
Or to put it like Dr. Theruvath “There is a window of time between cancer therapy and subsequent morbidity during which corrective actions can be taken.”
What are those “corrective actions?” I have lived an evidence-based, non-toxic, anti-cancer lifestyle since 1999. My five greatest accomplishments since I underwent years of toxic chemo have been to:
Nutrition, supplementation, bone health and other lifestyle therapies- all based on research, all non-toxic and all designed for long-term use.
I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. Are you a cancer survivor who is developing long-term or late stage side effects from aggressive therapies? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Advances in early cancer detection and treatments have led to growing numbers of cancer survivors in recent years, with survivors at risk of developing serious, life-changing adverse effects because of oncology therapies…
“Although pediatric cancer patients comprise a minority among cancer survivors, cancer therapy can have more severe effects upon their developing tissues, a longer-lasting effect due to their longer life span, and hence, a more severe effect upon our society’s workforce,” wrote Theruvath and colleagues. “There is a window of time between cancer therapy and subsequent morbidity during which corrective actions can be taken…”
Between April and July 2016, the researchers enrolled 10 pediatric cancer patients (five male and five females, with a mean age of 15.2 years) who had recently finished chemotherapy. The patients had all been diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or sarcoma and had completed a course of chemotherapy that included high-dose intravenous methotrexate, anthracyclines, and/or corticosteroids…
“Purpose-To develop a positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance (MR) imaging protocol for evaluation of the brain, heart, and joints of pediatric cancer survivors for chemotherapy-induced injuries in one session…
“Advances in transplantation techniques and supportive care strategies have resulted in a significant improvement in survival of those who have undergone treatment. However, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) survivors are at risk of developing long-term complications, such as endocrinopathies, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiopulmonary compromise and subsequent malignancies.
These complications have a direct impact on the morbidity and mortality experienced by HSCT survivors.
The high burden of morbidity carried by HSCT survivors necessitates that the survivors engage in health promotion as well as prevention and screening behaviors after HSCT. Bishop et al. evaluated the health and screening patterns of HSCT survivors and demonstrated that HSCT survivors had health and screening behaviors simlar to matched controls . Armenian et al. described health behaviors and cancer screening practices in a cohort consisting of 1040 HSCT survivors . High-risk health behaviors included current smoker status and ‘risky’ alcohol intake (≥four drinks/day in males and ≥three drinks/day in females). American Cancer Society recommendations were utilized to assess cancer screening practices. Survivors were more likely to have received a mammogram (OR: 2.8; p = 0.05) than their siblings. Furthermore, HSCT survivors were less likely to indulge in high-risk behavior (OR: 0.5; p < 0.01) than their siblings. In the ana lysis restricted to HSCT survivors, patients younger than 35 years of age at study participation (OR: 4.7; p < 0.01) and those with lower educational status (educated to less than college level: OR: 2.1; p < 0.01) were more likely to demonstrate high-risk behavior.
In summary, HSCT survivors had comparable cervical and testicular cancer screening practices, were more likely to have had breast cancer screening by mammography and were less likely to be engaged in high-risk behaviors when compared with healthy sibling controls. However, despite potential long-term risks, certain subsets of survivors continue to engage in high-risk behaviors such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake, indicating the need for targeted interventions for these high-risk populations. Continued vigilance in encouraging appropriate cancer screening and healthy behaviors for HSCT survivors is critical.
Exposure to high-intensity therapy combined with prolonged immune suppression after HSCT increase the risk of adverse sequelae and hence the healthcare needs of survivors. Shankar et al. described healthcare utilization reported by 845 long-term survivors and examined subpopulations at increased risk for lack of utilization .
In this cohort, 98% of allogeneic HSCT recipients and 94% of autologous HSCT recipients reported medical contact a decade after HSCT. While cancer-related visits decreased with time from HSCT, the prevalence of general physical examinations increased.
This study demonstrates that primary physicians assume increasing responsibility for providing healthcare for long-term HSCT survivors, thus making it critical that there are standardized guidelines for follow-up of these survivors…”