The cost of cure: Chronic conditions in survivors of child, adolescent, and young adult cancers

Christina Signorelli, Joanna E. Fardell, Claire E. Wakefield, Kate Webber, Richard J. Cohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Few children and young adults with cancer have a pre-existing chronic condition which contributes to their cancer risk, highlighting the unique aetiology of most cancers in this age group. Children and adolescents often tolerate acute cancer treatments well, however, the majority will experience life-altering, and some even life-threatening, conditions as a result of the cancer treatments they received. Young people face particular challenges, due to significant disruptions to a developmentally important time of life, placing them at higher risk of physical and psychological conditions. Many chronic conditions related to cancer treatment do not appear until children and adolescents mature, years to decades after completion of treatment. Available data highlights the high prevalence and severe nature of treatment-related conditions, supporting the need for continuing management through long-term follow-up care well into adult life. Both survivors and health care professionals must be knowledgeable about the risk of chronic conditions in survivors of child, adolescent and young adult cancers and must be aware of the appropriate follow-up care aimed at their prevention and management. Knowledge of late complications also informs modification of new treatment, helping to avoid chronic conditions in future survivors. Researchers’ efforts should be focused on the development of strategies to reduce the potential burden of chronic conditions in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCancer and Chronic Conditions
Subtitle of host publicationAddressing the Problem of Multimorbidity in Cancer Patients and Survivors
EditorsBogda Koczwara
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages50
ISBN (Electronic)9789811018442
ISBN (Print)9789811018435
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Childhood cancer
  • Chronic illness
  • Survivorship
  • Young adults

Cite this