The cancer is over, now what?: Understanding risk, changing outcomes
About 26,000 adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 29 years are diagnosed with invasive cancer each year. Although >80% will survive beyond 5 years from their cancer diagnosis, many will develop serious morbidity or die prematurely secondary to health problems in part related to their cancer therapy. This article provides a brief overview of mortality, morbidity, and health status among long-term survivors of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer. Four examples were used to illustrate the potential of risk-reducing strategies: breast cancer after chest irradiation, coronary artery disease after chest irradiation, cardiovascular disease in testicular cancer survivors, and the multitude of health problems faced by survivors receiving an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. A conceptual model for risk-based health care was presented and future directions of the delivery of care for AYA cancer survivors discussed.