Recent research suggests that mental distress caused by cancer treatment may lead to many adolescents or young adult (AYA) cancer patients seeking additional care and imposing high medical costs.
To study the use of health care and medical expenses associated with mental distress in AYA cancer patients, Ola A. Abdelhadi MBBCh MPH Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, and her coworkers looked at results from the medical Cost Panel Survey of 1,757 cancer patients. The latter was AYA and 5,227 adult patients with no cancer history.
The results were released in the journal Wiley Online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Cancer Society.
What are Cancers in Young People?
As per the National Cancer Institute, certain cancers, including osteoporosis primary, Hodgkin lymphoma, and testicular cancer, are the most commonly detected in adolescents and young adults.
The most frequent cancers that affect teens, as well as younger adults (AYAs), comprise:
The Brain as well as other Central Nervous System Tumours
Tumors of the spine and the Brain are central nervous system (CNS) cancers. They develop when abnormal cells develop in any spine or brain area. A tumor could be benign, which means it isn’t cancerous or malignant, which means that cancer has been detected.
Cancer of the breast is a condition where the cells in the breast expand beyond control. Various types of cancers affect breasts. The type of breast cancer is determined by the cancer-causing cells that develop into cancer. Breast cancer may begin in various parts of the breast.
Cervical cancer is one of the types of cancer found in the cells of the cervical cervix. Which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
There are a variety of strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease that can play a part in most cervical cancers.
Colorectal cancer is cancer that begins in the colon or the rectum. The cancers may also be referred to as rectal cancer or colon cancer, based on the location they begin. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are typically combined because they share several characteristics that are common to both.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the body’s blood-forming tissues, including bone marrow and the lymphatic system. It is a variety of forms. Certain forms of leukemia tend to be more prevalent among children. Other forms of leukemia are predominantly in adults.
Leukemia generally involves white blood cells. White blood cells are powerful anti-infection agents. They typically divide and grow in a controlled manner when your body requires them. However, in patients who suffer from leukemia, bone marrow production is an over-abundance of abnormal white blood cells that aren’t functioning properly.
A lymphoma is a form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system that makes up the body’s immune network.
The lymphatic system comprises those lymph nodes (lymph glands) and the spleen, bone marrow, and thymus gland. Lymphoma can affect any of those regions and the other organs in the body.
Different types of lymphoma are present. The most common subtypes include:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma (formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease)
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that occurs as melanocytes (the cells which give the skin its brown or tan color) begin to expand beyond control.
The cancer process begins when the cells within the body start to expand beyond their limits. Cells found in almost every part of the body could develop into cancerous and spread to other parts.
Melanoma is a lot less frequent than other kinds of skin cancers. However, melanoma can be more deadly because it is susceptible to spreading to different areas of the body if it’s not identified and treated at an early stage.
A sarcoma can be described as a type of cancer that begins in the muscles or bone. Soft tissue and bone Sarcomas are the most common kinds of Sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcomas may develop in muscle, fat, nerves, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, and deeper skin tissue. They are found in every area of the body.
Bone cancer is by causing cancer, or an abnormally sized amount of tissues is formed within a bone. The tumor might be malignant, meaning it’s growing quickly and spreading to other areas within the human body. A malignant tumor is usually called cancerous. Cancer that originates in bones is not common.
Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Soft tissue sarcoma is rare cancer that develops within the tissue that joins, supports, and surrounds body parts. This includes fat, muscle blood vessels, nerves ligaments, and the lining of your joints.
There are more than 50 types of soft tissue sarcomas that exist. Certain varieties are more likely be affecting children, while other types are more common in adults. The tumors are difficult to identify as they could be confused with other kinds of tumors.
Cancer of the testicle is an illness that develops if the cancerous (malignant) cells grow within the tissues of a testicle. The growth of cancerous cells within both testicles may occur however it is extremely rare. Testicular cancer is the most prevalent cancer in males between 20 and 35. It is usually curable.
Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that affects the gland with a butterfly shape at the neck’s base. The root cause of thyroid cancer isn’t well identified, but it could be an interaction of environmental and genetic causes.
Some people do not show any symptoms. Other people may notice an ache in the neck. Treatments that are generally effective include surgery, hormone therapy radiation, radioactive iodine, and in some instances, chemotherapy.
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It’s unclear the cause of thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer develops when the cells within the thyroid are subject to genetic change (mutations). The modifications enable the cells to multiply and overgrow. But, unfortunately, cells also can die, just as normal cells would.
The incidence of certain types of cancer is dependent on age. For example, thyroid cancer and lymphomas are the most prevalent cancers in 15 to 24 year-olds. For those aged between 25 to 39, Thyroid cancer and breast cancer are most prevalent.
Evidence suggests certain cancers that affect teens and young adults possess unique biological and genetic characteristics. Therefore, researchers are constantly trying to understand the characteristics of cancers that affect young adults to find targeted treatments that could be effective in these types of cancers.
AYA Cancer Survivors Experiencing Mental Distress
In comparing people with no cancer background, AYA cancer survivors: those who are diagnosed with cancer they are between the ages of 15 to 39 are more likely to suffer from psychological stress, which may manifest as anxiety, depression, anxiety attacks, or posttraumatic stress disorder anxiety about cancer, or anger.
The incidence of psychological distress among AYA cancer patients was two times greater than the rate of mental distress observed among adults with no prior history of cancer (11.5 percent against 5.8 percent). Additionally, 11.2% of cancer survivors reported experiencing distress over 20 years or more after diagnosis.
Is Mental Distress Ratio the Same in Men and Women?
In addition, those who are suffering from cancer with mental distress are more likely to smoke, suffer from chronic health conditions, and are less inclined to exercise those who had no psychological issues regularly. Furthermore, females who had lower incomes, and non-married cancer patients had a higher likelihood to experience mental and emotional distress than males and those with higher incomes and people who had been married.
Are Medical Costs Increasing for AYA Cancer Patients?
Patients’ psychological distress was associated with the addition of $4,415 annually in medical costs for AYA cancer patients, contrasted with $1,802 for adults with no history of cancer.
In AYA, cancer patients who suffered from mental distress could make on average 2.8 more office visits per year and take 11.58 additional prescription medicines or refills for medication each year.
“Our study is the first to estimate the additional medical expenses and health care utilisation associated with psychological distress in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors,” said Dr. Abdelhadi. “Screening to identify those with psychological distress and referring survivors to treatment or interventions can mitigate the impact of mental distress.”
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