The cancer screening practices of adult survivors of childhood cancer: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

Cancer. 2004 Feb 1;100(3):631-40. doi: 10.1002/cncr.20008.


Background: The current study characterized the self-reported cancer screening practices of adult survivors of childhood cancer.

Methods: A cohort of 9434 long-term survivors of childhood cancer and a comparison group of 2667 siblings completed a 289-item survey that included items regarding cancer-screening practices.

Results: Overall, 27.3% of female respondents reported performing breast self-examination (BSE) regularly, 78.2% reported undergoing a Papanicolaou smear within the previous 3 years, 62.4% underwent a clinical breast examination (CBE) within the last year, and 20.9% had gotten a mammogram at least once in their lifetime. Approximately 17.4% of male respondents reported performing regular testicular self-examination (TSE). Women age > or =30 years who had been exposed to chest or mantle radiation therapy were more likely to report undergoing CBE (odds ratio [OR], 1.59; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.32-1.92) and mammography (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.47-2.56). Compared with the sibling comparison group, survivors demonstrated an increased likelihood of performing TSE (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.22-1.85) or BSE (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.10-1.52), of having undergone a CBE within the last year (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02-1.35), and of ever having undergone a mammogram (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.52-2.17).

Conclusions: The results of the current study demonstrate that the cancer screening practices among survivors of childhood cancer are below optimal levels. Primary care physicians who include childhood cancer survivors among their patients could benefit these individuals by informing them about future cancer risks and recommending appropriate evidence-based screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Self-Examination / statistics & numerical data
  • Breast*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physical Examination / statistics & numerical data
  • Probability
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self-Examination / standards*
  • Self-Examination / trends
  • Sex Factors
  • Survivors
  • Testicular Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Testis*