Is Risk for Endocrine Disease Higher in Survivors of Cancer in Adolescence, Young Adulthood?

Bottom Line: An increased risk of endocrine diseases, such as thyroid disease, testicular dysfunction and diabetes, was associated with people who survived cancer as adolescents and young adults.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Cancer survival rates have improved and it is necessary to explore the long-term consequences of cancer treatment.

What and When: 32,548 one-year cancer survivors who were diagnosed at ages 15 to 39 and identified in the Danish Cancer Registry, along with 188,728 people who were cancer-free a nd identified through the Danish Civil Registration system; study conducted from 1976 to 2009 with follow-up from 1977 to 2010

What (Study Measures and Outcomes): First primary cancer diagnosed at ages 15 to 39 and treated according to recommendations and guidelines at the time of diagnosis (exposures); all hospital contacts (hospital admission and outpatient visits) for endocrine disease were identified in the National Patient Register and statistical estimates of hospitalization rates and risk were calculated

How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control for all the natural differences that could explain the study results.

Authors: Mette Vestergaard Jensen, M.D., of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark, and coauthors



Study Limitations: Lack of information on conditions diagnosed and treated by general practitioners; number of cases may be underestimated; cancer survivors more closely watched in the health care system and this could cause overestimation of risk estimates

Study Conclusions:

Related Material: The invited commentary, “Unmet Survivorship Care Needs of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors,” by Stacey Marjerrison, M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.P.C., of McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, also is available on the For The Media website.