Children treated for cancer may suffer irreversible hearing loss due to chemotherapy, radiation to the head, or surgery involving the auditory system. Hearing loss can have long-term impact on a child's social integration, school performance, and quality of life. In our population-based study, we used clinical data from 304 childhood cancer survivors who were treated with hearing-damaging chemotherapy between 1990 and 2014. We observed that one in four childhood cancer survivors suffered from severe hearing loss after cancer treatment. Close monitoring of hearing function before, during, and after treatment is essential to detect hearing loss as early as possible and lower its burden on the lives of affected childhood cancer survivors.
This study was funded by the CANSEARCH Foundation and the Swiss Cancer League.