Study of childhood cancer survivors shows reduction in radiation therapy leads to decline of second cancers

Childhood cancer survivors are living longer. Now research shows they are also less likely to develop second cancers while still young. The decline followed a sharp drop in the use of radiation therapy for treatment of childhood cancers. The research is published online in the Feb. 28 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Between the 1970s and the 1990s, the percentage of pediatric cancer patients treated with radiation fell from 77 to 33 percent. The average radiation dose also dropped. Their chance of having second cancers within 15 years of the first fell as well.

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