Surviving a childhood cancer can take a toll on health, and new research shows that young adults who've been through the ordeal often feel aged before their time.
"Our findings indicate survivors' accelerated aging, and also help us understand the health-related risks associated with having had cancer as a child," said study senior author Dr. Lisa Diller. She is chief medical officer of Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
"What's encouraging is that the lower quality-of-life scores are associated with chronic disease after treatment, not with a history of pediatric cancer itself," Diller explained in a Dana-Farber news release.
Read also: Silicon Valley billionaire gave $250 million for anti-cancer research
The researchers studied data on thousands of childhood cancer survivors in the United States. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, overall health-related quality-of-life scores were similar to those of adults in the general population in their 40s, the investigators found.
The more chronic health problems childhood cancer survivors had, the lower their health-related quality-of-life score, according to the study.
The findings were published April 21 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.