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Young Cancer Survivors' Battles May Just Be Beginning
A study by researchers at St. Jude Children's Hospital concludes 10 percent of survivors are at higher risk of life-threatening tumors for the rest of their lives.
According to a hospital press release, the study involved 14,358 people enrolled in the federally funded Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. St. Jude researchers found that 1,382 (or 9.6 percent) of survivors developed new tumors unrelated to their original cancers.
About 386 of those survivors (30 percent) developed third tumors. Four or more tumors were found in 153 survivors.
"These findings show that when you describe adult survivors of childhood cancer it is not sufficient to describe their risk of a first subsequent cancer, but to acknowledge that some of these patients are at risk for multiple cancers," Gregory Armstrong, the study's lead researcher and an assistant member of the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, says in the press release.
"This is the first study to more fully enumerate that risk."
He adds the research drives home the importance of cancer screenings among survivors.
"Too often, survivors still are not getting these important cancer screening tests beginning as early or as often as recommended," Armstrong says.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.