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Buddy Check 3 June

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:50 PM CDT
Female childhood cancer survivors are at a much higher risk for developing breast cancer later in life, according to a recently published study.

The new study shows that girls treated for pediatric tumors with chest radiation face a later risk for breast cancer that is six to seven times higher than that of other women. The research was conducted out of New York's Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

It showed 24 percent of women treated with chest radiation for any childhood cancer develop breast cancer by age 50 and 30 percent of women who battled Hodgkin lymphoma, a disease that requires much higher doses of chest radiation, develop breast cancer by age 50.

An average woman's risk of breast cancer by age 50 is just 4 percent.

Sacred Heart oncologist Dee McLeod says doctors have long known that childhood radiation increases the chance for secondary malignancies, but these findings reveal it raises a woman's risks as high as a patient who carries the breast cancer. She says that information is "startling."

"That fact is so important cause when people have genetic predisposition we usually screen them a little bit earlier. And this would make us screen our women, our patients earlier. So within eight years after they finished the radiation, or starting at the age of 25, we would start doing MRIs and mammograms," said Dr. McLeod.

The study also shows that even modern, lower dose radiation pediatric cancer treatments still raise a woman's breast cancer risk.

McLeod says the research should usher in more long term care protocol for childhood cancer survivors and new guidelines for follow up care.

Buddy Check 3 June

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Washington Times