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Survivors of childhood cancer at high risk of death

14th July 2010

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have found that people who suffer from cancer in their childhood have an increased danger of death when they are older.


The study of 17,981 people was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr Raoul Reulen and his team looked at the death rate of people who had survived cancer as children for at least five years or longer.

The cancer survivors received their diagnosis prior to the age of 15, and between the years 1940 and 1991, and were tracked until year end 2006.

The team said 3,049 deaths happened during the course of the study and the cancer survivors were found to have 11 times the death rate compared to the general population.

Even after 45 years a childhood cancer surivor still had three times the risk of death than someone who had not had cancer as a child.

"Over recent decades, survival from childhood cancer has improved dramatically, yet mortality rates in childhood cancer survivors continue to be elevated for many years beyond five-year survival, compared with the general population", the researchers wrote.

"Although studies have shown that the risk of death from recurrence decreases with increasing time since five-year survival, uncertainty about the long-term risks of death from other causes remains."


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Article Information

Title: Survivors of childhood cancer at high risk of death
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 15484
Date Added: 14th Jul 2010


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