Health Watch — Cancer Research: Cancer Survivors

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about research related to cancer. In some cases, even when cancer treatment is effective, the disease can continue to have an impact. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are participating in a study of the long-term effects of childhood cancer. They’ve found that survivors of childhood leukemia and brain cancer have an increased risk for stroke in early adulthood — even more than five years after they’ve been cured of cancer.

Dr. Daniel Bowers, a UT Southwestern pediatrician, says this can be devastating to patients who thought they’d put cancer behind them and could get on with their lives. Doctors believe the stroke risk is related to radiation treatment for the cancer. Current treatments use less radiation. More research will determine if that reduces stroke risk in the future. Researchers are also looking for ways to screen cancer survivors for stroke risk.               


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January 2007

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