Remain Vigilant for Second Cancers
Hodgkin lymphoma survivors at greatest risk of developing subsequent cancers
August 19, 2010 | Melissa Marino
Although nearly 80 percent of childhood cancer patients are surviving five years or more after diagnosis, they continue to face ongoing health risks – particularly the development of subsequent cancers.
Debra Friedman, M.D., and colleagues assessed the incidence of subsequent cancers occurring five years or more after initial diagnosis among participants in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. They report in the July 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that the risk of developing subsequent cancers increases with age, with survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma at the greatest risk. Increased risk was also seen in female survivors, survivors diagnosed at an older age, and survivors treated with radiation. This risk did not decrease with time.
The findings demonstrate that childhood cancer survivors continue to be at increased risk of subsequent cancers through the second and third decades of life. Because many adult survivors do not appreciate the increased risk related to their childhood cancer diagnosis, continued surveillance and medical follow-up is essential.
Friedman directs the REACH for Survivorship Program at Vanderbilt, which provides education and surveillance for subsequent malignancies and other health issues for which survivors of both childhood and adult cancer may be at risk.
For other research highlights from Vanderbilt University Medical Center laboratories, see ‘Aliquots‘ in the VUMC Reporter.
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