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Cancer survivors face higher risk of death from the disease

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Individuals who survived childhood cancer may benefit from continued cancer testing throughout their lives, as a new study has found survivors are significantly more likely to die from a recurrence of the disease later in life.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham in England analyzed the medical records of 17,985 five-year survivors of childhood cancer. They found that these individuals were 3.6 times more likely to die from cancer than the general population.

"These findings confirm the importance of very long-term outcome data and that survivors should be able to access health care programs even decades after treatment," the study's authors wrote in their report.

They added that finding ways to make doctors aware of this elevated risk and institutionalize continued cancer testing for those who survived the disease as children could be difficult, but that it has the potential to greatly improve health outcomes for these patients.

The study found that risk for recurrence declined in the 5 to 14 years following the initial diagnosis. However risk became significantly elevated after 45 years.

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