Many long-term survivors of childhood cancer may also be at high risk of suicide, although the absolute risk is still low, according to a new study.
The findings were published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s peer-reviewed journal, CANCER.
Although relatively limited data on suicide in childhood cancer survivors are inconsistent, it is generally suggested that these individuals have low suicide rates. Justin Burns, MD, and his colleagues at the University of Washington, St. Louis School of Medicine, examined a large population-based database to assess the suicide rate of individuals with childhood cancer in the United States between 1975 and 2016. Sometimes they also have a low risk of suicide.
The team identified 49,836 childhood cancer survivors and 79 suicides, with approximately 1 suicide per 10,000 per year. This rate was similar to that found in the typical US population.
However, adult survivors of childhood cancer over the age of 28 were at higher risk of suicide than individuals of the same age in the general population, with 2 suicides per 10,000 per year.
“Our findings raise serious questions about what can be done to prevent suicide in long-term adult survivors vulnerable to childhood cancer,” said Dr. Burns.
“Such strategies could include improved efforts to screen for distress and better adoption of survival care by interdisciplinary teams,” added Dr. Burns.
Dr. Burns said additional research is needed to study the underlying reasons and risk factors for suicide in these individuals.
“These may include history of depression, psychiatric comorbidity, persistent pain, socioeconomic stressors, and details of cancer treatment, all of which cannot be evaluated in our study. It was, “he said.
“A better understanding may help coordinate interventions in cancer survivors at greatest risk,” he concluded.
Research, Health News, ET Health World
Source link Research, Health News, ET Health World