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Survivors of childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma at higher risk of future health problems
Date:5/31/2008

otherapy regimens that included anthracycline drugs. In female five-year survivors, all doses of radiation therapy were associated with a higher risk of premature death.

The development of second malignancies impacted survival in both sexes. In addition, a cardiovascular condition conferred a significant risk of death in male survivors.

It hadnt been clarified until this study that there was a different pattern of risks in men and women, said Castellino. Other than a recurrence of the original cancer, the leading cause of death in women is breast cancer and for men it is cardiovascular events.

Castellino said the findings about cardiovascular disease are especially disturbing because about 30 percent of study participants had smoked at some time. She said the findings could lead to prevention recommendations, such as earlier health screenings.

Currently, women who received treatment for the disease are advised to have mammograms as early as 25-years-old, she said. But, currently there are no specific guidelines for heart disease prevention over those for the general population.

Since the 1980s, radiation therapy doses have been lowered in children with the goal of successfully treating the disease without causing undue side effects from the treatment. However, Castellino said that even though radiation doses are lower and techniques are refined, the heart and other critical structures are often exposed to radiation.

Castellino is continuing the research by working to learn more about what changes occur as a result of radiation and identifying ways to intervene possibly with drugs before the damage is done.


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Contact: Rae Bush
rbush@wfubmc.edu
336-716-6878
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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