Purpose: Each year, nearly 21,000 adolescents and young adults (AYA) ages 15 to 29 years are diagnosed with cancer. Breast and gynecological cancers account for 25 % of the cancers seen in AYA females. The purpose of this study was to compare the current physical and mental health status of female AYA cancer survivors with non-cancer female controls. Methods: Using data from the population-based 2009 National Health Interview Survey, 100 cases of female AYA survivors of breast and gynecological cancers were identified [female AYA cancer survivor (FCS) group]. FCS cases were matched with 300 female respondents without a history of cancer on age, education, marital status, and minority status [non-cancer control (NCC) group]. The FCS and NCC groups were compared on a range of physical and mental health status indices using analysis of covariance and binary logistic regression. Results: FCS group reported significantly poorer physical and mental health status than the matched controls. Relative to the NCC group, FCS survivors had significantly poorer scores on 7 of 8 mental health outcomes and were more likely to meet criteria for serious psychological distress (odds ratio = 4.23, p ≤ 0.001). FCS group also reported greater lifetime and current prevalence of various medical conditions, more health-related disabilities, and greater functional limitations than the NCC group. Conclusion: Diagnosis of breast and gynecological cancer during adolescence and young adulthood is associated with clinically important deficits in physical and mental health status. Given the young age of this cancer survivor cohort, increased attention should be devoted to minimizing these deficits.
- Adolescent/young adult
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