Validation of questionnaire-reported chest wall abnormalities with a telephone interview in Swiss childhood cancer survivors Academic Article uri icon

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  • AbstractBackgroundChest wall abnormalities are a poorly studied complication after treatment for childhood cancer. Chest wall abnormalities are not well-described in the literature, and little is known on the impact on daily life of survivors.MethodsWe investigated prevalence and risk factors of chest wall abnormalities in childhood cancer survivors in a nationwide, population-based cohort study (Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study) with a questionnaire survey. We then interviewed a nested sample of survivors to validate types of chest wall abnormalities and understand their impact on the daily life of survivors.ResultsForty-eight of 2382 (95%CI 2–3%) survivors reported a chest wall abnormality. Risk factors were older age at cancer diagnosis (16–20 years; OR 2.5, 95%CI 1.0–6.1), lymphoma (OR 3.8, 95%CI 1.2–11.4), and central nervous system tumors (OR 9.5, 95%CI 3.0–30.1) as underlying disease, and treatment with thoracic radiotherapy (OR 2.0, 95%CI 1.0–4.2), surgery to the chest (OR 4.5, 95%CI 1.8–11.5), or chemotherapy (OR 2.9, 95%CI 1.0–8.1). The nature of the chest wall abnormalities varied and included thoracic wall deformities (30%), deformations of the spine (5%) or both (55%), and scars (10%). Chest wall abnormalities affected daily life in two thirds (13/20) of those who reported these problems and necessitated medical attention for 15 (75%) survivors.ConclusionIt is important that, during follow-up care, physicians pay attention to chest wall abnormalities, which are rare late effects of cancer treatment, but can considerably affect the well-being of cancer survivors.


  • Kasteler, Rahel
  • Lichtensteiger, Christa
  • Schindera, Christina
  • Ansari, Marc
  • Kuehni, Claudia E
  • Rössler, J
  • Ansari, M
  • Beck Popovic, M
  • Brazzola, P
  • Greiner, J
  • Niggli, F
  • Hengartner, H
  • Kuehni, C
  • Schilling, F
  • Scheinemann, Katrin
  • von der Weid, N
  • Gerber, N

publication date

  • December 2021