Dermatologic issues in adult survivors of childhood cancer

Karen E. Kinahan, Mona Gandhi, Mario E. Lacouture, Robert Eilers, Anand Haryani, Aarati Didwania, Lisa K. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction Common late effects experienced by childhood cancer survivors include: thyroid disturbances, pulmonary compromise, heart failure, and secondary neoplasms. Dermatologic issues have been largely unexplored. Methods This descriptive study consisted of an 8 item self-reported questionnaire on dermatologic issues and the Dermatology Life Quality Index. Participants reported dermatological issues that presented anytime after their diagnosis of cancer. Over a seven month period, 166 survivors seen in a specialized program for adult survivors of childhood cancer housed within an adult cancer center received a cover letter either through the mail or in the clinic setting which explained the purpose of the study. A total of 78 survivors completed the study with an average age of 29.7 years (range 19-46) and an average time since their diagnosis of 19.2 years (range 6-46). Results Dermatological issues were reported by 59.0% of survivors and 50% saw a dermatologist at least once for these concerns. Nine survivors (11.5%) reported a skin cancer and ten (12.82%) were affected by alopecia. Additionally, 26 (33.3%) of survivors reported scars related to cancer therapy as a dermatological issue, and 99% of survivors reporting scars said they did not resolve with time. Discussion/conclusions There are a range of dermatologic issues experienced by adult childhood cancer survivors. In our non-representative sample, 50% of the survivors sought specialized care from a dermatologist for their concern. Additional research is needed to more clearly understand the extent of dermatologic issues and their impact upon quality of life in childhood cancer survivors. Implications for cancer survivor Childhood cancer survivors may frequently seek care from primary care providers. It is important for these providers to be aware of the risks associated with cancer treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Adult survivors
  • Childhood cancer
  • Dermatologic
  • Late effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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