Many children who survive cancer experience learning problems and poor educational achievement, according to a Canadian study.
It included almost 800 people who had a primary diagnosis of cancer at age 15 or younger and had survived for more than five years after the diagnosis. Compared to their peers, young cancer survivors needed more special education services, were more likely to repeat a grade level, and achieved lower levels of education, United Press International reported.
The study was published in the journal Cancer.
"These are very significant findings," Barbara Kaminsky, chief executive officer of the Canadian Cancer Society of British Columbia and Yukon, said in a news release, UPI reported. "It is not good enough to just improve survival rates for these children. We need to ensure that as many childhood cancer patients as possible become more than survivors -- rather we hope to have post-cancer thrivers."
Kaminsky said many childhood cancer survivors experience "adverse late effects" -- problems that may be related to the disease or to the aggressive treatments they've endured.