Financial checkup should be part of health screenings for childhood cancer survivors

IMAGE: Corresponding author I-Chan Huang, Ph.D., found that about 33 percent of survivors who participated in the study said finances kept them from seeking medical care. view more 

Credit: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital / Peter Barta

Adult survivors of childhood cancer should be screened for financial problems that might cause them to delay or skip medical care or to suffer psychological distress. The recommendation from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital researchers followed an analysis that found 65 percent of survivors reported financial challenges related to their childhood cancer diagnoses.

The research included 2,811 long-term pediatric cancer survivors enrolled in the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort study (St. Jude LIFE). The findings follow the largest study yet focused on financial hardship and its consequences for childhood cancer survivors. The research appeared today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“Advances in treatment and supportive care have increased survival rates for most childhood cancers. By 2020, there will be an estimated 500,000 childhood cancer survivors in the U.S.,” said first and corresponding author I-Chan Huang, Ph.D., an associate faculty member in the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control. “Until now, little was known about the financial hardships that


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