Monday, June 4, 2012
Women treated with chest radiation for cancer when they were girls have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than has been realized.
A new study finds that these childhood cancer survivors are developing breast cancer at rates similar to women with inherited genes that increase risk. By age 50, about 24 percent of them are developing breast cancer. Risk was seen even from moderate doses of radiation, suggesting that more women may need annual mammograms to watch for breast cancer.
Children treated today for cancer get lower doses of radiation to smaller areas of the body than kids did in the past, so their future risks should be lower.
The study was being presented Monday at a cancer conference in Chicago.