Positive and negative consequences of childhood cancer influencing the lives of young adults

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2009 Jul;13(3):164-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2008.05.009. Epub 2008 Oct 8.


The aim of the study was to describe how young adults who have survived childhood cancer consider their present life to be influenced by the cancer experience. A cohort of 246 long-term survivors were approached a median of 16 years after diagnosis. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted based on the Swedish version of the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life-Direct Weighting (SEIQoL-DW). Interviews were analysed using content analyses. When asked if cancer negatively or positively currently affected their lives, 68% reported at least one negative consequence and 53% at least one positive consequence. The most frequently reported negative consequences include a variety of physical impairments and limitations in participating in activities; positive consequences describe a more positive view of life and of self. Women more often than men reported negative psychological impact, a changed body appearance and positive interaction with others. CNS tumours and combined treatment were somewhat associated to a higher extent of negative consequences. Overall, the results indicate that long-term survivors of childhood cancer are getting along quite well despite shortcomings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Sweden
  • Young Adult