Childhood Cancer Surviviors Less Likely to Marry
One study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, looked at the marital status of 8.928 survivors of childhood cancer, as compared with their 2,879 of their siblings. The results showed that survivors are less likely to wed, and that those who had been treated for tumors of the central nervous system were the most likely to remain single, according to the Los Angeles Times.
However, those who do marry and have children are not at a higher risk for having babies with medical issues, two other studies show. Researchers found that children born to female survivors were only slightly more likely to be born early and small. Babies whose fathers were treated for childhood cancer had only a small risk of having a low birth weight, as compared with the general population. Otherwise, those babies fared well.
The health of childhood cancer survivors is an under-studied field, according to the Times, but the existing research shows that adults who battled the disease as kids generally do not escape unscathed. Health problems that can extend into adulthood include after-effects of the treatments they received, such as early heart attacks, second cancers, stunted growth and infertility.
Nearly 80 percent of children who have cancer are cured, according to the American Cancer Society's 2008 statistics. Of the 11 million American cancer survivors, 270,000 have survived childhood cancer.
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