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Psychological distress higher in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors

18 March 2022

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors are more likely to experience psychological distress than adults with no history of cancer, a study has found.

The study, published in Cancer, an American Cancer Society journal, found that AYA cancer survivors were more likely to have psychological distress (11.5% of 1757) than adults with no history of cancer (5.8% of 5227). This distress was still found to be high many years after diagnosis, with 11.2% reporting distress for at least 20 years after their diagnosis compared with adults with no history of cancer. They were also more likely to smoke and have chronic conditions, and were less likely to exercise regularly.

The authors concluded that, in the US, where healthcare costs are paid by the individual, there is a substantial economic burden associated with psychological distress in AYA cancer survivors.

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