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

t and neck the so-called "mantle field" which exposes both breasts to radiation.

About one-third of women who developed cancer in one breast also developed another cancer in the opposite breast. The time from the first to the second cancer ranged from one to three years.

"(That) means people need to be screened, if anything, even more intently after the development of the first cancer," Constine said.

Preventive mastectomies for certain patients at high risk for breast cancer might be worth considering, researchers said.

Surprisingly, radiation of the pelvis seemed to lower cancer risk.

"That finding challenges one of our basic beliefs, so I think we have to do a little more work to understand what is happening," Mendenhall said.

Researchers had thought that the greater the volume of tissue irradiated, the greater the cancer risk. But it is possible that radiation to the pelvis caused premature menopause or ovary failure, with an accompanying drop in the production of the hormone estrogen, a known risk factor for breast cancer.

Factors other than radiation treatment such as biologic predisposition to cancer could be at play in the observed rates of cancer development, the researchers said. A trait responsible for the development of breast cancer could also be responsible for Hodgkin's disease development in the first place.


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Contact: Czerne Reid
czerne@ufl.edu
352-273-5814
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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