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Adult survivors of childhood cancer struggle financially

By Julie Cullen, Managing Editor, American Nurse Today

What happens to adults who’ve survived cancer during childhood?

Recent research from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital indicates that they may be struggling. The research, which was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, included 2,811 long-term pediatric cancer survivors enrolled in the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort study. The results show that financial hardship is common among survivors of pediatric cancer, making it difficult for them to purchase medication, seek medical attention, and pay medical bills. This, in turn, may increase their risk for depression, suicidal thoughts, poor retirement planning, and challenges with health and life insurance.

So, what’s the takeaway for nurses and providers? Ask your adult patients who survived childhood cancer if they’re having difficulty paying for healthcare or medication. If the answer is yes, point them to resources that can help.

Source: stjude.org/media-resources/news-releases/2018-medicine-science-news/financial-checkup-should-be-part-of-health-screenings-for-childhood-cancer-survivors.html

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