With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching I found this recent article on the positive quality of life effects of marriage for childhood cancer survivors interesting and timely. The study was performed in Japan and similar work has been done by the authors in patients with osteosarcoma alone. Their results show that mental health and vitality were better in the survivors who were married. Also, the men who received ifosfamide (a cytotoxic chemotherapy drug that has been associated with fertility problems) had fewer children than the men in the study who received non-ifosfamide based chemotherapy. The abstract for the study is included below.
Marriage and fertility in long-term survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult (AYA) high-grade sarcoma.
- 1Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chiba Cancer Center, 666-2 Nitona-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba, Chiba, 260-8717, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2Cancer Survivorship Research Division, Center for Cancer Control and Information Services, National Cancer Center, 5-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045, Japan.
- 3Faculty of Nursing and Rehabilitation, Konan Women’s University, 6-2-23 Morikita-machi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe City, Hyōgo, 658-0001, Japan.
- 4Department of Pediatric Nursing, Tokyo Healthcare University, 4-1-17 Higashi-gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 141-8648, Japan.
- 5Oizumi Gakuen Child and Adolescence Clinic, 6-47-18 Higashi-oizumi, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, 178-0063, Japan.
- 6Tamagawa Health Care Center, NEC Corporation, 1753 Simonumabe, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa , 211-8666, Japan.
- 7Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chiba Cancer Center, 666-2 Nitona-cho, Chuo-ku, Chiba, Chiba, 260-8717, Japan.
We investigated the marital status and the presence or absence of children in survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult (AYA) high-grade sarcoma and examined the influence of these factors on the quality of life (QOL) of these survivors.
Thirty-eight survivors of childhood and AYA high-grade sarcoma (18 males, 20 females) participated in a questionnaire survey on marital status and presence or absence of children, as well as on the health-related QOL (HR-QOL), using the Short Form 36 Health Survey. Diagnoses among these survivors were osteosarcoma (28 participants), Ewing’s sarcoma (4 participants), synovial sarcoma (4 participants) and others (2 participants).
Of the 18 males who participated in the survey, eight (44.4 %) were married, of whom five (62.5 %) had children. Fifteen (75.0 %) of the 20 females were married, of whom 14 (93.3 %) had children. The proportions of surviving male patients who were married and who had children, respectively, were lower than those of surviving female patients. The proportion of ifosfamide-treated men with children was significantly lower than that of non-ifosfamide-treated men (p = 0.018). With respect to the relationship between marital status and HR-QOL, the scores for the vitality and mental health domains of the SF-36 of survivors who were married were significantly higher than those of unmarried survivors.
The results of our questionnaire survey reveal that among the male survivors of high-grade sarcoma, the proportions of those who were married and of those with children were lower than those of female survivors, suggesting that strategies providing support for marriage and child-rearing may be necessary for the male survivor group. In the married group, mental QOL was high.