Healthy Living

Adolescent Lymphoma Survivors More Likely to Experience Subsequent Cancers

Adolescent Lymphoma Survivors More Likely to Experience Subsequent Cancers

Sometimes, people who have fought cancer once have to fight it again.

Adolescents and young adults who fought off and survived hematological cancers like Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia may have that fight ahead of them a second time. Even if they completely defeated their cancer, these young folks are at a higher risk of developing cancer around fifteen years later.

Even worse, their chances of survival are more slim when facing off with the second cancer, compared to peers of the same age who develop cancer for the first time.

There are about one million survivors of hematological cancers in the United States. Many of these survivors are at risk for developing subsequent malignant neoplasms.

Solid and nonsolid tumor subsequent malignant neoplasms

Neoplasms are the groups of cancerous cells which have not yet formed a malignant tumor, though they are still malignant. If they are found in a cancer survivor then they are known as SMNs, subsequent or secondary malignant neoplasms.

Similar neoplasms can appear in people who have never before had cancer. They can either be solid or nonsolid, depending on the type of cancer.

Hematological cancers, such as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and leukemia form from nonsolid tumors. Solid neoplasms come from other types of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, etc.

American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition

The American Society of Hematology, also called ASH, has an annual event in December which attracts about 20,000 health professionals. Their focus is on research and medical issues regarding blood and diseases of blood. Lymphoma and leukemia definitely qualify.

At this last event, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Public Health Saro H. Armenian revealed the results of study which has not yet been published. He and his colleagues performed a study about SMNs in adolescent and young adult survivors of hematological cancers, as little is known about their risks and outcomes.

Their study was a retrospective cohort study, which means they used data that already been collected a while ago about a certain group of individuals all sharing something. In this case, they were all survivors of adolescent and young adult Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia.

They had access to data from 1,315 cancer survivors who had been treated at Kaiser Permanente, a cancer care center in Oakland, California. They were all diagnosed between 1990 and 2012 and all had been between the ages of 15 and 39 when diagnosed with cancer.

All of the study population also survived for at least two years after treatment was concluded and had no SMNs recorded before the two year mark.

Dr. Armenian and the other researchers found 17,020 people to be the control group, nearly thirteen people who had never had cancer for every survivor. Relevant metrics were balanced. The average age was 28 for both the control and the study group. Ethnicity and sex were both balanced equally as well.

They followed the survivors until they were diagnosed with an SMN, until they died, or until the year 2014 ended. So some people were followed for two decades while others only about a year.

Read on to learn more about the results of this study and what they mean for adolescent lymphoma survivors.