“Study: Childhood cancer survivors less likely to marry”

Posted: November 18, 2009

An article on CNN last week discussed research that highlighted the link between cancer treatments and “problems with task efficiency, problems with organization, and problems with memory”.

The article was looking at a trend where those who received cancer treatment as children tend to marry less later in life than those who didn’t undergo cancer treatment. The study looked at data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and focused on about 9,000 adult survivors of childhood cancer, and nearly 3,000 siblings of participants.

The researchers cited organization, concentration, and memory problems as recurring problems among cancer survivors. Dr. Nina Kadan-Lottick, assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine and co-author of the study said that “Cancer treatment — in particular, cranial radiation — can also impair cognitive functioning, experts say. Giving chemotherapy directly into spinal fluid can also affect cognitive functioning”.

The article explained that many of the side effects of cancer treatment, including impaired cognitive functioning, can be treated. As Dr. Kadan-Lottick said, “There are ongoing studies to improve cognitive functioning, and computer programs that can teach the brain to process better”.

Cogmed is one of the interventions being tested as an intervention for cancer survivors. A study conducted by Dr. Kristi Hardy at Duke University is using Cogmed with pediatric cancer survivors to gauge their level of improvement in working memory and overall cognitive functioning.

Click below to read about the study:

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Click below to read the CNN article:


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