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'Lifetime risk' for child cancer survivors

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Childhood cancer survivors have a ‘persistent and high risk’ for a second primary cancer throughout their lives, according to a Danish study.

Previous studies established that second primary cancer risk after treatment in childhood is higher than that in the general population, but follow-up was restricted to a few decades and the incidence in long-term survivors was rarely investigated.

The new study looked at data on second cancers in 47,697 childhood cancer patients from birth to age 79. A total of 1,180 second primary cancers were observed in 1,088 persons.

The authors found the relative risk of second primary cancers was significantly higher than the general population for all age groups.

‘This study quantified long-term temporal patterns of increased risk of cancer at specific sites in survivors of childhood cancer. The results may be useful in the screening and care of these individuals,’ they said.

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