WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., (UPI) — More than one-third of the 12.6 million U.S. cancer survivors have physical or mental problems that put their overall health in jeopardy, researchers say.
Lead author Kathryn Weaver, assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, N.C., said 25 percent of cancer survivors reported poor physical health and 10 percent reported poor mental health, versus 10 percent of adults without cancer reporting poor physical health and 6 percent of adults without cancer reporting poor mental health.
“Until now, we didn’t have clear data on quality-of-life issues for the population of U.S. cancer survivors,” Weaver said in a statement. “This information should help doctors and researchers identify groups of survivors who may be at risk for long-term problems after cancer. In addition, it can help us know if some of the national efforts to improve life for cancer survivors are making a difference.”
The researchers analyzed data from a 2010 nationwide health survey, which included data specific to cancer survivors collected by the Centers for Disease and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute. The scientists identified 1,822 cancer survivors and compared them with 24,804 adults with no history of cancer.
The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.