Statistics for pediatric cancer for ages 15-21

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Statistics for pediatric cancer for ages 15-21

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If you look at the pediatric age range from birth to age 21, the group that does the worst, in terms of outcome with childhood cancer, is the group from 15-21. So, the older adolescent going into the young adult. If you look across the whole spectrum of cancer, from birth to old age, it's very interesting. The recent data that has come out of what we call the SEER Registry, which is the national cancer registry, has shown that adolescents and young adults, between the ages of 15-39, have the least improvement of survival of any group in the United States. That doesn't necessarily means that they have the worst survival. But, their improvement in survival over the past 25-30 years has been least of any group. And, that has spurred an entire movement. That is resulting in adolescent and young adult oncology becoming a sub-sub-specialty. with researchers and doctors focusing on that group. And, trying to figure out what's different about them. How do we treat them differently? What's different about their cancers? One of the obvious things is that the psychosocial aspect and the environmental aspect of adolescent young adults and issues they deal with are different than just about any other age group. Those things get in the way of giving treatment. They get in the way of compliance. They get in the way of delivering the treatment completely. Because, they so disrupt the lives of these very vibrant individuals who are trying to establish themselves. But, it also maybe, and we have some early evidence of this, that some of their cancers, a leukemia in a young adult may not be quite the same as a leukemia in a young child. Or in an older adult. And therefore, we need to learn about that. So, that we can give them the right treatment. That the treatment might be different. Or specific kind of treatment may work better. So, we started to do that. And not surprisingly, in the past 3 or 4 years since we started to do that, that improvement in survival has starting to come up for the first time. So, this is a very exciting and very important area of focus right now. In the field of cancer treatment and diagnoses, and research.

Watch Video: Statistics for pediatric cancer for ages 15-21 by Stuart E. Siegel, MD, ...

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Stuart E. Siegel, MD

Director, Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Before recently shifting his focus to international medicine, Stuart Siegel, MD, was Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology for 35 years and the founding director of the the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Professor and Head of the Division of Hematology-Oncology Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. He remains a leader in supportive care and research in pediatric oncology, with a special focus on neuroblastoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Ewing Sarcoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors. From developing the first pediatric protective environment in 1971 for children undergoing intensive chemotherapy, to pioneering current efforts to develop academic and clinical care programs nationally and locally for adolescents and young adults with cancer, Dr. Siegel’s contributions have revolutionized the field of pediatric oncology. Dr. Siegel has been honored for his work by the American Cancer Society, Children Foundation, the Cancer Foundation, the Chase Foundation, Padres Contra El Cancer, the Israel Cancer Research Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he is a member of the National Board, and has consistently been listed among the nation’s top doctors in such publications asAmerica’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America. He is a father of one son, Joshua; grandfather of David and Elijah; and lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife of seven years.

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