Child cancer survivors and increased risk of breast cancer

Child cancer survivors and increased risk of breast cancer

New research conducted by Dr. Norman Breslow, of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA followed 2,492 women who received treatment for Wilms tumour during childhood and had reached at least 15 years of age.


The researchers found that over 20% of the participants who received chest radiation therapy went on to develop breast cancer by the age of 40, compared with only 0.3% of survivors who did not receive chest radiation. Three quarters of the breast cancer cases were invasive.


A 4% risk of breast cancer was also observed among Wilms tumor survivors who received abdominal radiation but no chest radiation.


Previous research had looked at child Hodgkin lymphoma survivors and seen similar increases in breast cancer.

Wilms tumor (nephroblastoma) is a form of kidney cancer usually affecting children ages 3 to 4. Treatment is effective and cure rates approach 90%. Because Wilms can spread to the lungs, patients can be given low dose radiation therapy to the chest.

Sadly, the dose levels seem now to have major side-effects.
 

2014 Research
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