Late Major Health Risks
I have been writing a lot recently about medium and long term side effects (never good ones!) of cancer treatment. Again, it is clear to me that the emphasis at the time of diagnosis and treatment must be on effective care. However, as more of us live a long and healthy life, we may encounter problems caused by earlier cancer treatment. This is a summary from MedPage about a new study that will shortly be fully available. If you are interested in reading the whole thing, there is information at the end of this article about how to do so.
Cancer Survivors Face Major Health Risks
By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: March 09, 2012
Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
A growing population of cancer survivors faces an increased risk of radiation-related second malignancy and cardiovascular disease (CVD) for which little evidence-based clinical guidance has emerged, researchers found. The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. has tripled since 1971. In that time, multiple epidemiologic studies have documented the health hazards associated with radiation therapy, but few studies have examined the
consequences and outcomes among affected patients.
Moreover, accurate risk estimates have been complicated by use of risk-assessment models based on older technology that had different dose-distribution patterns compared with modern radiation therapy technology, according to a summary of scientific review findings published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.