Two new studies show radiation can affect how long and how well children survive cancer.
The first study found children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who received chemotherapy but not radiation to the brain area tended to live longer and with a better quality of life than those who got both treatments. But the long-term outcomes for both groups were quite high.
The second study found the risk of hospitalization for psychiatric disorders is no higher among survivors of cancer in childhood or adolescence. The one striking exception was among those who had had brain tumors, for which radiation is the standard treatment.
According to the National Cancer Institute, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, is the most common form of leukemia in children and the most common type of childhood cancer. Patients suffering from this disease have too many underdeveloped white blood cells.