According to new research, people who have had cancer in childhood or youth, more likely to die prematurely.
Researchers observed nearly 12,000 patients, cancer survivors, as well as 5000 their healthy siblings. The observation period was about 20 years old. Despite the fact that all patients who have recovered from cancer, had cancer for at least five years after the start of the study, he still died in 6 times more often than their brothers and sisters.
"Currently, about 83% of people under 21 who have been diagnosed with cancer can be cured of the disease," - noted the researchers from the Cancer Center of the University of Chicago.
Now that advances in cancer treatment to increase the chances of survival and transformed the disease from a death sentence into a chronic disease, doctors should pay more attention to long-term side effects. Increasing chances of survival also means that the young people increases the risk of health problems related to tumors and therapy, including heart disease and recurrent or new cancers.
According to the American Heart Association, chemotherapy can weaken the heart muscle, some Targeted drugs - increase the risk of heart failure, and radiation - to cause cardiac arrhythmias and structural damage in the arteries and heart valves.
For 45 years, 56% of people who have recovered from cancer in childhood (cancer was diagnosed up to 15 years), had serious health problems, compared with 39% of patients who have recovered from cancer, which was diagnosed in adolescence or early adulthood (20 -30 years), and 12% of siblings without a history of cancer.
Scientists have also documented increased mortality in survivors of cancer diagnosed in childhood, compared to those who have been diagnosed with a tumor in adolescence or early adulthood.
Scientists reported the study limitations. The researchers did not have data on three types of tumors - malignant tumors in the gonads, thyroid, and skin - which account for almost 40% of cancers diagnosed in people aged 15 to 20 years. In addition, the researchers observed the patients who were diagnosed with cancer between 1970 and 1999, and it is possible that the severity of side effects decreased for patients receiving modern therapy.
The scientists noted that in order to minimize the risk of long-term health problems, patients should maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, good nutrition, the use of sunscreen, not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight.