Summaries for Patients |

Increased Risk for Gastrointestinal Cancer in Childhood Cancer Survivors FREE

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

The full report is titled “Secondary Gastrointestinal Cancer in Childhood Cancer Survivors. A Cohort Study.” It is in the 19 June 2012 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 156, pages 757-766). The authors are T.O. Henderson, K.C. Oeffinger, J. Whitton, W. Leisenring, J. Neglia, A. Meadows, C. Crotty, D.T. Rubin, L. Diller, P. Inskip, S.A. Smith, M. Stovall, L.S. Constine, S. Hammond, G.T. Armstrong, L.L. Robison, and P.C. Nathan.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the American College of Physicians.

Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(11):I-36. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-156-11-201206050-00001
Text Size: A A A

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Patients who survived cancer as a child, adolescent, or young adult have been noted to develop second cases of cancer at a rate higher than that of the general population. In particular, cancer of the gastrointestinal tract (such as colon cancer) occurs more often. However, whether specific factors related to the childhood cancer or its treatment are related to the increased incidence of second cancer is not well-defined.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To find out whether certain kinds of cancer or cancer treatments during childhood are associated with an increased risk for gastrointestinal cancer later in life.

Who was studied?

14,358 patients who had been treated for cancer diagnosed before age 21 years and who had survived for at least 5 years after the initial cancer diagnosis.

How was the study done?

The researchers contacted patients who had been treated for cancer as children at any of 26 treatment centers in the United States and Canada. They contacted the patient's family in cases where the patient was not available, was still a child, or had died. They collected information about when and what kind of cancer had been treated during childhood and whether new cases of cancer had developed. They also obtained permission to review medical records so that additional details about the cancer and its treatments could be obtained. They compared the rates of cancer among childhood cancer survivors with the rates reported in a large national cancer database.

What did the researchers find?

Childhood cancer survivors were at increased risk for cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, in particular, cancer of the colon and rectum. At particularly high risk were patients who had Hodgkin lymphoma or Wilms tumor (a cancer of the kidney) during childhood or who had radiation therapy to the abdomen or certain kinds of chemotherapy.

What were the limitations of the study?

Overall, the patients in the cohort were not yet at an age when cancer of the gastro-intestinal tract typically occurs in the general population, so additional cases and risk factors may be identified.

What are the implications of the study?

Patients who survived cancer as children, and in particular those who had Hodgkin lymphoma or Wilms tumor or who had received radiation to the abdomen or particular chemotherapy drugs, are at increased risk for new tumors. It may be appropriate to begin screening such patients for gastrointestinal cancer (for example, with colonoscopy) sooner than other patients.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Related Point of Care
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.