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Posted by on Apr 14, 2017 in Hodgkin's lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the amount of late complications that affect teenage and young adult Hodgkin lymphoma survivors. The authors concluded that these patients had higher risks of developing other cancers and getting sick compared to the general population.

Some background

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is the most common cancer among teenagers and young adults (TYA) aged 15 to 24. HL is generally considered curable. Studies have shown that patients who have survived HL are more likely to experience other health issues compared to the general population. It is not clear how much these health issues effect teenagers and young adults with HL.

Methods & findings

This study looks at late complications affecting TYA HL survivors. The medical records of 442 TYA HL survivors were reviewed. All patients were diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 24. All patients had survived at least 5 years after their initial diagnosis. The average follow-up time was 20 years after initial diagnosis.

9% of survivors experienced a second malignant neoplasm (SMN; a new cancer, different from their original HL). Survivors were 7.8 times more likely to experience an SMN than the general population. Survivors were 15 times more likely to get breast cancer, 15 times more likely to get lung cancer, and 9 times more likely to get thyroid cancer.

Survivors were 1.5 times more likely to be hospitalized for any reason compared to the general population.

60 (14%) 5-year survivors died over the course of the follow-up period. Survivors were 18.6 times more likely to die of any cause than those in the general population. Recurrent HL (35%), second cancers (30%), and circulatory disease (13%) were the most common causes of death. 

The bottom line

The authors suggested that teenage and young adult HL survivors have a significantly higher risk of death and a higher risk of both cancer and non-cancer related illness, particularly patients treated with radiation.

The fine print

Modern treatments are improving survival rates for HL patients every year. This causes patients to live longer, and therefore experience more long-term illnesses. 

As therapies change, futher studies must be done to determine how current treatment options affect long-term illnesses.

What’s next?

Discuss with your doctor what types of surveillance and education you might need.

Published By :

British Journal of Haematology

Date :

Mar 01, 2016

Original Title :

Late mortality, secondary malignancy and hospitalisation in teenage and young adult survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma: report of the Childhood/Adolescent/Young Adult Cancer Survivors Research Program and the BC Cancer Agency Centre for Lymphoid Cancer.

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