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Washington: Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk of facing a variety of challenges, such as emotional distress, impaired quality of life, and financial burdens.

A new study has indicated that many long-term childhood cancer survivors may also face a high risk of suicide, although their absolute risk is still low.

The results were published in ‘CANCER’, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

The relatively limited data on suicide among childhood cancer survivors is inconsistent, although it generally suggests that suicide rates among these people are low. When Justin Barnes, MD, MS, of Washington University at St. Louis Medical School, and his colleagues looked at a large population-based database to assess suicide rates in people with a childhood cancer in the United States from 1975 to 2016, they also found the risk of suicide to be low.

The team identified 49,836 childhood cancer survivors and 79 suicides, and there was about 1 suicide per 10,000 people per year. This rate was similar to the rate observed in the general population of the United States.

However, adult childhood cancer survivors over the age of 28 had a higher risk of suicide than similarly aged individuals in the general population, with 2 suicides per 10,000 people per year.

“Our results raise critical questions about what can be done to prevent suicide in vulnerable long-term adult childhood cancer survivors,” said Dr. Barnes.

“Such strategies may include improving distress screening efforts and better use of survival care with a multidisciplinary team,” added Dr. Barnes.

Dr Barnes noted that more research is needed to investigate the underlying reasons and risk factors for suicide in these people.

“These could include a history of depression, psychiatric comorbidities, persistent pain, socio-economic stressors, and specifics of cancer treatment, which we were unable to assess in our study,” he said. -he declares.

“Better understanding can be helpful in tailoring interventions for cancer survivors most at risk,” he concluded.


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