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Pediatric Hodgkin's disease survivors face increased breast cancer risk
Date:2/12/2009

developing breast cancer," said University of Rochester pediatric oncologist Louis S. Constine, M.D., who led the study. Still, he said, "it's important to understand the past because many people were treated like this."

Similar studies will be needed to measure the success of modern treatment strategies, Roberts said.

Hodgkin's disease is a cancer of unknown cause that affects tissue in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow. It can spread from one organ to another but can be cured with radiation, chemotherapy or a combination.

The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2008, about 8,220 people in the United States would be diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and about 1,350 would die from it. Up to 15 percent of all cases occur in children and teenagers.

In the current study, 398 females younger than 19 who were treated for Hodgkin's were evaluated from 1960 until 1990. They had been seen at UF, the Rochester Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Researchers found that women who had been treated for childhood Hodgkin's disease were 37 times more likely than others to develop breast cancer 29 developed breast cancer during the study's follow-up period.

On average, it took almost 19 years after treatment for cancer to develop. Guidelines call for Hodgkin's survivors to start being monitored for breast cancer 10 years after treatment or at age 30 whichever comes first.

In the study, patients ages 12 to 19 at the time of treatment were at slightly higher breast cancer risk as adults than those who were younger than 12. And those diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin's were at higher risk than those with more advanced disease.

Hodgkin's survivors who developed breast cancer were much more likely to have received higher radiation doses to the entire ches
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Contact: Czerne Reid
czerne@ufl.edu
352-273-5814
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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