Cancer Control Research5R03CA144851-02
Milam, Joel E.
SUBSTANCE USE AMONG ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG ADULT HISPANIC CANCER SURVIVORS
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Although treatment advances have increased the survival rates for childhood cancer, most survivors subsequently experience significant early life morbidity and mortality. Thus, childhood cancer survivors (CCS) are recommended to avoidance substance use (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana), to potentially delay or mitigate cancer treatment-related late effects. However, because prior work has been largely based on patients who were diagnosed before 1986, the extent of our knowledge regarding the health behaviors of recently treated CCS is unclear. Further, our understanding of Hispanic cancer survivors is especially limited due to under representation of this ethnic group in research efforts. The purpose of this study is identify risk and protective factors of substance use (alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco) among recently treated Hispanic and non-Hispanic CCS (ages 14-25), including cultural (e.g., acculturation to the U.S), psychosocial (e.g., stress), family (e.g., cohesion and conflict), and demographic (e.g., income, education) factors. To explore the potential impact of the cancer experience on substance use among Hispanics, rates of substance use between Hispanic CCS and age and gender matched non-cancer Hispanic controls (obtained from a separate cohort study of adolescents) will be compared. Results will guide the development of improved health education materials to prevent substance use among CCS, including potential unique approaches for Hispanic CCS. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The extent of our knowledge regarding the health behaviors of recently treated childhood cancer survivors (CCS) is unclear because prior work has been largely based on patients who were diagnosed before 1990. Further, our understanding of health behaviors among Hispanic cancer survivors is especially limited due to underrepresentation of this ethnic group in research efforts. The purpose of this study is to examine the substance use behaviors (alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco) of recently treated Hispanic CCS to provide vital information on appropriate methods to improve these behaviors and ultimately, long term survival of CCS.