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Childhood Cancer Diagnosis Increases Mental Health Risk

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They uncovered 494 childhood cancer survivors who experienced at least one inpatient or outpatient visit for a mental health disorder

I’m not a child psychologist. I am a cancer survivor and cancer coach. I work with newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers to help them through the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

The study linked below should not be a surprise to anyone. The surprise should be that there isn’t a greater percentage of children who undergo a diagnosis of cancer and conventional therapies who have a greater risk of mental health disorders. I was diagnosed with cancer at 34 and underwent several years of aggressive conventional therapy and I can tell you that cancer does a number on your mental health- short and long-term.

Kids who went through what I went through should be at least as vulnerable.

Please don’t be surprised or disappointed when your pediatric oncologist isn’t prepared for possible mental health side effects to your child. Understand however, that there are therapies to help manage both physical and mental collateral damage from aggressive conventional cancer therapies.

For information about these therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Long-term Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


Childhood Cancer Boosts Mental Health Risk, Say Danish Researchers

“…investigators studied the records of more than 7,000 Danish children treated for cancer between 1975 and 2010, along with more than 13,000 of their brothers and sisters.

They uncovered 494 childhood cancer survivors who experienced at least one inpatient or outpatient visit for a mental health disorder in that time frame. Those diagnosed with cancer before age 10 were at increased risk of mental health issues…

Males were at greater risk than females, and males diagnosed with blood cancers or central nervous system cancers were at much higher risk compared to the general population.

More than 1,000 of their siblings also had at least one inpatient or outpatient visit for a mental health disorder. Furthermore, among siblings, those who were younger than 10 years old – or not yet born – at the time of diagnosis were at higher risk of having mental health problems as they got older…

Their findings draw attention to the need for psychosocial support for kids with cancer and for their siblings, along with survivorship care plans that include both medical and psychological elements.

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