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Book and Media Reviews |

Cancer in Adolescents and Young Adults

James R. Egner, MD, Reviewer; Mark S. Musselman, MD, MA, Reviewer
JAMA. 2008;300(2):217-218. doi:10.1001/jama.300.2.217.
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Adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 30 years have a statistically low rate of cancer (1 of every 168 US residents). This comprehensive book claims to be the first devoted exclusively to the total cancer picture of this targeted age set. It follows an earlier monograph and extensive review article.1 The editors and authors are all well-known researchers in US and western European pediatric hematology-oncology.

The spectrum of cancers in persons aged 15 to 30 years is unique. Sarcomas, Hodgkin disease, male and female gonadal and nongonadal germ cell tumors, and oligodendroglioma are representative of cancers with peak incidence in this younger age group. Within this age span, variance also exists as a function of age. Cancers predominant in older adults as well as in young children are rarely seen in this specific demographic group. The age group in question has traditionally not been designated as part of the realm of either the pediatric or the adult oncologist. Demographics of practitioner availability, the type of disease, and the preferences of referring physicians as well as those of patients determine who provides care, whereas the background and certification of the consultant determines treatment.


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