[The current situation of adolescents with cancer in pediatric hematology-oncology units in Spain. Results of a national survey].An Pediatr (Barc) 2013; 78(4):268.e1-7AP
Little attention was paid to adolescents with Cancer in Spain up to 2010. In 2011 an "Adolescents with Cancer Committee" was established by the Spanish Society of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology (SEHOP) to care for the needs of these patients. The aim of this national survey was to outline the present situation of adolescents with cancer in Spanish Pediatric Hemato-Oncology units. A web based survey assessed institutional management of adolescents with cancer. The survey was personally sent to one member of the staff of each Pediatric Hemato-Oncology unit in Spain. It included questions about epidemiology, management, psycho-social coverage, specific facilities, and follow up of these patients. A total of 40 institutions out of 41 responded to the survey (overall response rate 98%). Fifty-six percent of the institutions had patients over 14, but only 36% of the institutions treated patients up to 18 years old. Only 25.6% of the units have more than 40 new pediatric cases every year. The percentage of patients between 14 and 18 years of age is below 10% in most of the units (77%). In 30.8% and 48.7% of the institutions, pediatric hemato-oncologists treat adolescents with hematological and solid tumors, respectively. The rest of the patients are seen by adult oncologists. There is only one institution that has a physician specifically dedicated to adolescent patients, and only two units have a "teenager's room". Only 2 units have a psychologist specifically trained to treat adolescents with cancer. The survey shows that most adolescents with cancer in Spain between 14 and 18 years of age are treated by adult oncologists. Most pediatric institutions still do not have specific facilities and psychosocial support for adolescents. The SEHOP is working hard in order to improve the quality of cancer care, and the quality of survival of this population.