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Children who survive cancer have high risk of heart disease, new study find

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

According to recent medical testing, childhood cancer survivors may be at an increased risk of developing heart disease as young adults.

The study, which was published on the British Medical Journal website, found that adolescent cancer survivors have a high risk of heart failure and heart valve abnormalities later in life.

Researchers analyzed data from approximately 14,000 childhood survivors and found that fully recovered cancer patients had a variety of cardiovascular complications as late as 30 years after therapy.

"Young adults who survive childhood or adolescent cancer are clearly at risk for early cardiac morbidity and mortality not typically recognized within this age group," said lead author David Mulrooney.

"Such individuals require ongoing clinical monitoring, particularly as they approach ages in which cardiovascular disease becomes more prevalent," he added.

Researchers also found that the risk of developing heart complications in cancer patients was associated with lower levels of exposure to radiation therapy than what was previously thought.

Doctors recommend that adolescent cancer survivors receive cardiac screenings at least every five years.
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