Half of Young Hodgkin's Lymphoma Survivors Don't Get Proper Treatment

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Less than half of all young adult and adolescent patients who survive Hodgkin's lymphoma get the recommended care after their first round of treatment, according to new research presented at the Cancer Survivorship Symposium in San Francisco this month.

Analyzing data about oncology visits, lab tests and CT scans, researchers identified how individuals between the ages of 15 and 39 were being treated after a Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis between 2000 and 2010.

"Patients treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma are at high risk for recurrence and relapse, as well as serious long-term and late effects,” said Dr. Erin E. Hahn, research scientist at Kaiser Permanente.

Guideline adherence

While professional and medical organizations have specific guidelines about the care of Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors, how well these guidelines are followed is a topic that has not been studied, researchers said.

The study found that nearly all survivors were present at their recommended oncology appointments, yet only 70 percent received the recommended lab tests within the first 5 years of their initial treatment.

Two-thirds of patients received a CT scan within the first 12 months of treatment, but only 47 percent received a CT scan in year 2 and 35 percent received a scan in year 3.

In general, researchers concluded that only 48 percent of young adult survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma receive all the medical care they should be getting within the first year of treatment.

“Ultimately, we want to make sure that these patients receive optimal care so that they can achieve optimal health outcomes,” Hahn said. “We have the opportunity to improve longer-term use of services. There is a need to improve care delivery, and our next steps are to think about designing and implementing systematic programs to address these needs.”

Source: Helio

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