Navigation Links
Hodgkin's Survivors Prone to Breast Cancer Later

Study found they were 37 times more likely to develop malignancies after radiation treatments

MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In an ironic testament to the success of childhood cancer treatments, researchers report that women who were treated as children with radiation for Hodgkin's disease were almost 40 times more likely to develop breast cancer later in life.

"We can cure most patients now who have Hodgkin's disease. Back in 1950, it was regarded as a universally fatal disease," said study co-author Dr. Nancy Mendenhall, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. "[But] when you've got a high cure rate, as people age, you begin to identify some of the unanticipated effects that seem to be related to the treatments. If you don't cure the patients, they don't survive to see those effects."

The risk rose with the radiation dose, and there was also a higher risk of developing malignancies in both breasts.

The findings, published in the September issue of The International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, are part of a larger study involving 930 children treated for Hodgkin's disease between 1960 and 1990 at five U.S. centers. Overall, survivors of childhood Hodgkin's disease, especially female survivors, were found to be at higher risk for second malignancies.

Often treatment for Hodgkin's involves radiation to the breast area, so some amount of breast tissue receives some amount of radiation, explained study leader Dr. Louis S. Constine, a professor of radiation oncology at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center.

The amounts of radiations used are much lower than in the past, Constine added, as is the proportion of the body irradiated. Chemotherapy is also sometimes substituted for radiation in more modern treatment.

This analysis followed almost 400 female survivors of childhood Hodgkin's disease for an average of almost 17 years.

Women who had had this childhood cancer were 37 times more likely to develop breast cancer as compared to women who had not had Hodgkin's disease, although the absolute risk was low (29 women overall were diagnosed with breast cancer). Women were diagnosed as early as 9.4 years after radiation and as late as 36.1 years after the initial treatment. More women are likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as follow-up continues.

Women who were diagnosed at an earlier stage of Hodgkin's disease or were older than 12 were more likely to develop breast cancer, possibly a result of different radiation doses or the developing breast tissue being more susceptible to harm from radiation.

About one-third of women in the group had cancer in both breasts.

Radiation of the pelvic area lowered breast cancer risk, although Mendenhall speculated that this surprising finding could be due to impact on hormone production in the ovaries.

While guidelines recommend that women, in general, start getting mammograms at age 40, women who received radiation which potentially impacted breast tissue are urged to start screening 10 years after radiation or at age 30, whichever comes first.

Research released last month, however, found that almost half of female childhood cancer survivors under the age of 40 who had chest radiation as part of their treatment are not following the recommended advice to get screening mammograms sooner than other women.

It's unclear how different treatment paradigms will affect survivors.

"The majority of these patients were treated in an earlier era, and current treatment protocols are certainly much different in terms of the amount of radiation and the field size," said Dr. Rajaram Nagarajan, an assistant professor of hematology/oncology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "But it will still take some time until we are able to assess how current changes are going to change these risks. The assumption is that they are going to reduce the risk."

Regardless, Nagarajan said, survivors need to receive regular care in centers and clinics specializing in the follow-up of pediatric cancer survivors.

"We have made a lot of changes in the past 10 to 15 years," he said. "The problem is, we're always five or 10 years behind in terms of assessing."

More information

The Children's Oncology Group has follow-up guidelines for survivors of childhood cancers.

SOURCES: Louis S. Constine, M.D., professor, radiation oncology and pediatrics, and vice chair, department of radiation oncology, James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, N.Y.; Rajaram Nagarajan, M.D., assistant professor, hematology/oncology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Nancy Mendenhall, M.D., professor, radiation oncology, University of Florida and associate chair, department of radiation oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville; September 2009, The International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Pediatric Hodgkins disease survivors face increased breast cancer risk
2. Cancer Survivors Say Costs Keep Them From Care
3. Regular physical activity linked to better quality of life in early-stage lung cancer survivors
4. New Coalition Created to Help Breast Cancer Survivors Gain Access to Products Designed to Improve Their Quality of Life
5. Childhood Cancer Survivors Not Getting Recommended Mammograms
6. Penn study: Breast cancer survivors call for more survivorship care from primary care physicians
7. Program to Identify Likely Victims of Radon-Related Lung Cancer; Survivors Commit to Risk Reduction Despite Failed Government Policy
8. International Conference to Focus on Concerns of Young Breast Cancer Survivors
9. Obesity increases lymphedema risk for breast cancer survivors
10. Experiences of rape unique to Rwandan women survivors of genocide
11. Surge in older cancer survivors expected as baby boomers age
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Hodgkin's Survivors Prone to Breast Cancer Later
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, ... the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where ... city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for Research ... June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR experts ... planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will be ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong ... Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ... to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research and ... Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... for Companion Diagnostics The World Market for ... personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the ... Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... today announced the appointment of Dr. Edward ... as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. ... Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a ... will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: