WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — All-cause and cause-specific mortality have decreased among five-year adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors overall, but improvements have not been consistent across all cancer types, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Chelsea Anderson, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and Hazel B. Nichols, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, examined temporal trends in mortality among five-year AYA cancer survivors. Data were included for 282,969 patients (aged 15 to 39 years) diagnosed with cancer during 1975 to 2011 who survived five or more years beyond diagnosis.

The researchers observed a decrease in five-year mortality from all causes from 8.3 percent for those diagnosed in 1975 to 1984 to 5.4 percent among those diagnosed in 2005 to 2011; this finding was mainly due to decreases in mortality from the primary cancer (6.8 to 4.2 percent). Little improvement in primary cancer mortality over time was seen for specific cancer types, including colorectal, bone, sarcomas, cervical/uterine, and bladder. For Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, kidney cancer, head and neck cancers, and trachea, lung, and bronchus cancers, there was some reduction in late mortality from noncancer/nonexternal causes.

“It is important that we monitor trends in survival not only among recently diagnosed patients, but also among survivors who are several years beyond their initial cancer diagnosis,” Anderson said in a statement.

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