Survivors of Childhood Cancer Have Increased Risk of Later Gastrointestinal Complications Than Their Siblings

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A study recently reported in Gastroenterology concluded that surviving children who received cancer therapy had an increased risk of later developing gastrointestinal complications (upper, lower, and liver) than their siblings.

Data from part of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study was collected in one of the 26 collaborating institutions on childhood cancer survivors and a random sample of their siblings. The median age at cancer diagnosis was 6.8 years and at outcome assessment was 23.2 years for survivors and 26.6 years for siblings. Subjects were diagnosed between 1970 and 1986. In the study, doctors evaluated the incidence of long-term gastrointestinal outcomes and the treatment related factors in order to determine the incidence of self-reported adverse GI conditions that occured at least 5 years following diagnosis and determine the effect of different treatments on the risk of developing later gastrointestinal problems. Researchers concluded “Survivors are at elevated risk for ongoing gastrointestinal complications after therapy.” Implications of these findings for treatment were discussed.

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