Adolescent Young Adult Cancer- long-term, late stage side effects

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Conventional Medicine and Oncology Treat Diseases in general and Cancer in particular.  Doctors don’t know how to treat Cancer Survivors. I do. I’m an AYA cancer survivor. 

Years of living with long-term and late stage side effects have had a definite affect on me. The article linked below left me angry. Diagnosed at 34 I fell into the “adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer” category. I don’t consider myself an AYA cancer survivor but I have lived with specific side effects for since my toxic therapies in 1995..

However, having undergone aggressive chemotherapy and radiation from ’95-’97  I live with the “unprecedented health care problem” that this story talks about.  While reading the article it dawned on me that I know more about surviving cancer than oncologists do. I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach.

I am in disbelief at the article because the doctors quoted talk as if today’s physicians understand the “unprecedented health care problem.”  They don’t.

In fact, today’s primary care physicians do not understand the “chronic health problems” that conventional oncology causes pediatric and AYA cancer patients on a daily basis.

Image result for image of aya cancer survivor
  • Chronic A-fib,
  • Progressive nerve damage,
  • Cerebral dysfunction aka chemobrain,
  • Irritable bladder and
  • A lifetime of eye problems,
  •  Risk of Secondary cancers,

These are only some of the chronic health problems that I have to manage for the rest of my life. Conventional oncology focuses exclusively on cancer mortality rates. Meaning that oncology focuses only on keeping kids alive for the magic 5 year cut-off and not overall quality of life.

There are a host of both conventional and non-conventional evidence-based therapies that can manage or heal long-term and late stage collateral damage. To learn more about these therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Childhood Cancer Survivors a Growing Patient Population

“Improved treatment of childhood cancer has led to an unprecedented health care problem, with primary care physicians unprepared to care for the special medical needs of adult cancer survivors, researchers report…

A survey of internists — primary care doctors for adults — found that most physicians were not comfortable caring for adult survivors of childhood cancer. Most also were unfamiliar with the special needs these patients have because of their cancer treatment, according to findings published Jan. 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine…

Currently, more than 350,000 childhood cancer survivors live in the United States, and the number continues to grow, the authors note.

But the treatments that helped save these kids also put them at long-term risk of chronic health problems. For example, chemotherapy or chest radiation treatment can increase a child’s lifetime risk of heart disease.

“We need to be doing a better job as oncologists of transitioning these patients to primary care,” Henderson said.”

Childhood Cancer’s New Conundrum

“Adults who survived childhood cancer are facing a new health challenge: premature aging. As more survivors reach their 30s and 40s, researchers are noticing health problems more common to much older people, such as frailty and serious memory impairment…

Last month, St. Jude researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that adult survivors of childhood cancer are far more likely than other people their age to be frail, with slow walking speed, low muscle mass and weakness more common to people decades older.”

Possible Gap Seen in Adult Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors

“It’s estimated that there are more than 350,000 childhood cancer survivors in the United States, and about 70 percent of adult childhood cancer survivors have a chronic health condition, the study authors pointed out in a university news release…”For some survivors [their cancer] is a period of their life they would prefer to put behind them and not to think about, but it’s important for them to be engaged in their health care,” he also noted…”

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