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J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2017 Jun;6(2):333-340. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2016.0047. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

Epidemiological Profile and Treatment Outcomes in Young Adults (19-29 Years of Age) Treated for Cancer in a Tertiary Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil.

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1 Department of Medical Oncology, A.C. Camargo Cancer Center , São Paulo, Brazil .
2 International Research Center, A.C. Camargo Cancer Center , São Paulo, Brazil .



Worldwide, the incidence of cancer in young adults (20-39 years) is increasing, and represents an important cause of mortality in this age group. A retrospective study was undertaken to provide information that may lead to improved treatment outcomes.


Epidemiological, clinicopathological, treatment, and survival information were retrieved from the electronic database registry of a tertiary referral hospital in São Paulo, Brazil for patients 19-29 years of age diagnosed with cancer between January 2007 and December 2012.


There were 960 patients with a median age at diagnosis of 26 years; female patients comprised 59.2%. A previous diagnosis of malignancy was present in 2.3%; 0.4% had malignant tumors that were radiation-associated; regular alcohol use was present in 10.4%; 9% of patients reported tobacco use; a family history of cancer was present in 41.7%. Malignant tumors included carcinomas (45.7%), germ cell and trophoblastic neoplasms (12.3%), and lymphomas (12.1%). Median follow-up was 47.7 months (range: 0.62-100.9 months) during which time 111 patients (13.5%) died. Carcinomas (n = 43, 38.7%), soft tissue sarcomas (n = 18, 16.2%), and leukemias (n = 10, 9.0%) were the most common causes of death.


This study has shown that carcinomas represent the most common malignancy in adolescents and young adults referred to a tertiary cancer center in Brazil and are the most common cause of mortality. Because clinical outcome may be affected by multiple factors in this patient population, further global studies are needed to characterize this population and improve clinical care.


cancer; epidemiology; risk factors; survival; tertiary hospital; young adults

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