A second report from the CCSS found that not enough survivors of childhood cancer receive screening for colon, skin, and breast cancers. Cancer treatment, especially radiation therapy, may increase the risk of a second cancer. Among the childhood cancer survivors with a higher risk of developing a second cancer, almost 12% received a colonoscopy as recommended, about 46% had a mammogram within two years of treatment, and almost 27% had a skin exam. The study also showed that childhood cancer survivors who had a higher risk of a second cancer were more likely to be screened for breast and skin cancer if they were being cared for at a cancer center.
What this means for patients
“We were surprised to find that many survivors of childhood cancer are not following screening guidelines that may detect cancers during their earlier, more curable stages,” said lead author Paul Nathan, MD, MSc, Oncologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. “Survivors and their physicians should be aware of what cancer they had, what treatments they received, their risk of second cancers, and the screening tests they should be getting.”
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What type of cancer did I have?
- What treatments did I receive?
- How can I best keep track of these treatments?
- What is my risk of a second cancer?
- What screening tests do you recommend?
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