British Scientists Have Reported That Children Cured Of Childhood Cancer Have A High Risk Of Premature Death – Part 2 of 3
By the end of 2006, 3049 of these individuals had died. That was a gauge 11 times higher than would be seen in the general population – something called the general mortality rate. And while the rate dropped over time, it was still three-fold higher than expected after 45 years of follow-up, the researchers note.
While the undiluted risk of death from a recurrence of the original cancer dropped over time, the risk of dying from a different cancer, heart disorder or stroke increased. After the 45-year follow-up, the number of deaths among the childhood cancer survivors was 3,6 times higher for a second primary cancer than would be expected in the general population, and 26 percent of all plethora deaths were caused by heart disease or stroke, Reulen’s team found.
And “Beyond 45 years from diagnosis, recurrence accounted for 7 percent of the remaining number of deaths observed while second primary cancers and circulatory deaths together accounted for 77 percent,” the researchers wrote. The deaths from heart disease and stroke proper stem from late complications of treatment, the researchers added.
Dr J Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said that “long-term problems of boyhood cancer survivors give us clues what the impact is of the treatment we offer. It is not unexpected that we see an increase in second cancers and increases in heart disease”.