Healthy lifestyle associated with reduced mortality risk in childhood cancer survivors

A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) provides strong evidence of the importance of a healthy lifestyle for adults who were treated for cancer as children. The study is the first to find that the specific primary causes of death in long term survivors are many of the same leading causes of death in the U.S. population, often occurring at younger than expected ages. It also found that adult survivors of childhood cancer experience four times the risk of late mortality as the general population, even 40 years after diagnosis. However, the study contains reason for hope: survivors without certain modifiable lifestyle and cardiovascular risk factors had a lower risk of death, suggesting survivors may be able to improve their odds. For example, survivors maintaining a healthy lifestyle had a 20% lower risk of mortality than those following an unhealthy lifestyle. The findings were published today in The Lancet.

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