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AYA Cancer Survivors- Identify and Prevent Long-Term and Late Side Effects

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As many as two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors develop a long-term complication from the surgery, chemotherapy or radiation used in cancer treatment…”

It shouldn’t be surprising that AYA cancer patients who undergo aggressive toxic chemotherapy and radiation develop health problems 10, 20 even 30 years down the road. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in early ’94, underwent chemotherapy and radiation and eventually an autologous stem cell transplant in 12/95 and I live with a series of long-term and late stage side effects today.

The real question is what can be done to prevent or manage these future health challenges. While I certainly don’t have all the answers I do have experience and insight into long-term and late stage side effects of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors. I was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer at the age of 34. Okay, I wasn’t as young as most AYA cancer patients but I’ve learned a lot since my diagnosis in 1994.

  • I froze some of my sperm in 1996- my son Alex was born on September 25th 1998.
  • I developed a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in 1996 and chronic A-fib (atrial fibrillation) in the fall of 2010. Managing my heart, vein and blood health is now a top priority…
  • The cerebral dysfunction aka chemobrain that I developed shortly after aggressive chemo is much better but continues to negatively affect my life to this day…
  • I developed chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy in late 2010

These are four of the long-term and late stage side effects that AYA cancer survivors should learn about and work to avoid later in life. I take and recommend Life Extension Super Omega 3 because studies cite omega 3 as being brain, heart healthy.

In addition to my diet I exercise frequently but moderately as well as taking the nutritional supplements below. All are supported by evidence-based research citing increasing brain, blood, heart, bone and emotional health.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. For questions and answers about long-term and late stage side effects of both pediatric and AYA cancer survivors, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Young adults who survive cancer hospitalized more often than the general population

“In a paper published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Baxter found that young adult cancer survivors overall were hospitalized 1.5 times as often as people in a control group

The rate of hospitalization was twice as high as the control population or greater for survivors of gastrointestinal cancer, leukemia, urological malignancies such as bladder or kidney cancer, colorectal, brain and lymphoma

The results were similar to what previous studies have found in children diagnosed with cancer. As many as two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors develop a long-term complication from the surgery, chemotherapy or radiation used in cancer treatment…”


Should American citizens have the right to chose what medical therapy they undergo? Should minors (pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult cancer patients) be able to choose?

This debate goes beyond loosing your hair or puking your guts out. While those side effects are certainly real, many side effects are long-term (heart and brain damage) and some side effects may be late stage (sterility).

The studies linked below outline, in graphic detail, the possible short, long-term and late stage side effects that can occur from aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.

Image result for photo of pediatric cancer survivor

This debate is not about the chances of living or dying. The “experts” told me I was terminal…in late 1997. I then underwent a controversial non-conventional therapy. I went from end-stage multiple myeloma to complete remission in 17 months. Cancer experts can be very wrong.

One one side, chemotherapy can be truly lifesaving. On the other side of the debate, chemotherapy can result only in a host of collateral long-term damage resulting in the patient dying of his/her chemotherapy as much as his/her cancer.

Keep in mind that I am a father as well. I would do anything for my son. Would I give him chemotherapy? Thank goodness Alex turned 18 last September…

This debate is about deciding what therapy you choose for you. Please remember that there are dozens of evidence-based, non-toxic, non-conventional therapies shown to reduce your risk of side effects like

  • Premature Aging-
  • Heart Damage-
  • Brain Damage-
  • Nerve Health-
  • Skin Health-

etc. Scroll down the page and tell me what you think.

Legal Battle Rages Over Whether to Force 17-Year-Old Cancer Patient to Have Chemo

“A court will determine whether a 17-year-old girl, under something called the “mature minor doctrine,” can be forced to undergo chemotherapy after she refused treatment for her cancer.”

Should it matter if we are talking about a mature 17 year old or an 18 year old?

“Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September, but decided she didn’t want to complete the prescribed treatment, according to a court summary. Her mother supported this decision, but the Department of Children and Families stepped in and ordered her mother to comply with the doctor’s treatment recommendation. “

Both the minor and her mom have refused chemotherapy. Can the state force the minor?

“Although chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells, its side effects include hair loss, nausea, pain and fertility changes, according to the National Cancer Institute.”

If the chemotherapy causes the minor to become sterile and can’t bear children because of the state forcing chemo on her, is the state responsible for the minor’s sterility?

Cancer survivors have shorter lifespan finds new study

“A large study has found that people who have survived cancer and its treatment are more likely to die sooner and have a shorter lifespan compared to those who have never had cancer…

The study emphasizes on the different complications that may arise among cancer survivors who have beaten the disease as youngsters. These people are more likely to die in their 50’s rather than in their 80’s, finds the study.

They note that these individuals are more likely to get other disease conditions later in life such as heart disease, scarring of the lungs, frailty and even secondary or new cancers. These individuals are more susceptible to illnesses that occur due to old age compared to those in the general population.

Results show that their life expectancy is 30 percent less than the general population. The study was published in the journal of the European Society of Medical Oncology or ESMO Open…

At present there are 30 million cancer survivors worldwide (as of 12/17) and with the added new 19 million cases each year the numbers are set to rise exponentially by 2025…”

Fatal heart disease among cancer patients

“As the overlap between heart disease and cancer patients increases as cancer-specific mortality is decreasing and the surviving population is aging, it is necessary to identify cancer patients who are at an increased risk of death from heart disease…

Additionally, the overlap between heart disease patients and cancer patients is increasing as cancer-specific mortality is decreasing and the surviving population is aging4. This has led to the development of the field of cardio-oncology, which refers to the treatment of cardiovascular disease in cancer patients5,6, with particular focus on the adverse effects of cancer therapy7. Cardiotoxicity in cancer patients became more prevalent as drugs such as anthracyclines and targeted kinase inhibitors were linked to unexpected cardiovascular outcomes, such as heart failure8,9

…there is currently no comprehensive resource to assist clinicians, including primary care physicians, oncologists, and cardiologists, in identifying cancer patients at highest risk of fatal heart disease…

Here we report that 394,849 out of 7,529,481 cancer patients studied died of heart disease…For almost all cancer survivors, the risk of fatal heart disease increases with time…”

Incidence and disease burden of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in a population-based cohort

“A total of 509 individuals with incident exposure to an inclusive list of neurotoxic chemotherapy agents between 2006 and 2008 were identified. 268 (52.7%) of these individuals were determined to have CIPN…

Pain symptoms and use of pain medications were observed more often in patients with CIPN..

CONCLUSIONS- Results from our population-based study are consistent with previous reports of high incidence of CIPN in the first two years following incident exposure to neurotoxic chemotherapeutic agents, and its association with significant pain symptomatology and accompanied long-term opioid use…”

Incidence, Risk Factors, and Mortality Associated With Second Malignant Neoplasms Among Survivors of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer

Risk of SMN-The survivors of AYA cancer and the comparison cohort contributed 93 290 and 1 379 136 person-years of observation, respectively, through December 31, 2014. During the study period, 622 survivors of AYA cancer developed an SMN

The 10- and 20-year cumulative incidence of SMN from index date was 5.6% and 12.5%, respectively.

Of survivors of AYA cancer who developed SMN, the most common SMN types were breast cancer (32%), melanoma (14%), and ovarian cancer (5%)…”

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The Four Major Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Issues - PeopleBeatingCancer says 7 years ago

[…] AYA Cancer Survivors hospitalized more often than general population […]

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