Cancer, childhood and adult

December 30, 2015

Conventional treatment of childhood cancers has long been one of the crown jewels of the oncology world. The large majority of adult-onset cancers have seen very little improvement in overall survival over the past 30 years.


This is not true for the most common childhood cancers. Many times pediatric oncologists actually get to use the word "cure" when discussing the treatment options with parents. This is a word that doesn't get used too often in the oncology world.


However, there is an important downside of these life-saving treatments for childhood cancers. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reveals that successfully treated children have double the risk of developing a second cancer later in life. Shockingly, this risk continues even into the 5th and 6th decades of life.


The conventional oncology world tends to put patients into a "wait and see" category following successful treatment of cancer. Rarely is any advice given for reducing the risk of recurrence, other than the standard advice such as don't smoke, eat vegetables and exercise.


Parent of children successfully treated for cancer need to know that there are many important nutrients that can reduce the risk of recurrence, a risk that will follow them far into their adult years.


The first tragedy is a child struck by cancer. A second tragedy is missing the opportunity to lower the risk of another cancer later in life. Prevention programs should always take into account each individual's unique history, including past cancer type and treatment.


Don't simply wait and see. Prevent.


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