Patients who have recovered from childhood cancer are an emblematic group particularly suitable for studies on clinical follow-up and on psycho-physical, social and occupational rehabilitation:quality of diagnosis is generally very good and well documented, and treatment is mainly carried out in specialized facilities and on the basis of carefully tried-and-tested and continually updated protocols, all of which makes it easier to study the pattrns of care in the post-treatment phase. Nevertheless, owing to the length of the observation period needed, at global level there is just a handful of data on the prevalence in the general population of adults of all ages who have survived a childhood cancer. Indeed, many of those who have survived paediatric cancers (long-term survivors) are now entering age at risk of chronic degenerative illnesses.
Funded by the Health Ministry (CCM 2012), the CHILDPREV project has the goal, among others, of providing an overall epidemiological picture of childhood cancer prevalence, incidence and trends so as to assess future evolutions.
In this light, an estimate was made of the number of prevalent adults of all ages who have survived a paediatric cancer using ad hoc statistical methods. In particular, the CHILDPREV method was applied (Simonetti, Gigli, Capocaccia, Mariotto, 2008) to data from cancer registries with at least 15 years of incidence data and living status follow-up, to obtain an estimate of the complete prevalence in adult age (15+) for all cancers as a whole, and for the most frequent cancer sites in children: Hodgkin lymphoma, acute lymphoid leukaemia and brain and central nervous system tumours.
- Francisci, Guzzinati, Dal Maso, Sacerdote, Buzzoni, Gigli (2017). Living after cancer diagnosis during childhood: A population-based estimation in Italy. International Journal of Cancer http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.30665/full