Women who survive Hodgkin's disease are found to have a higher risk of developing breast cancer due to the radiation therapy that is given for the same, a new research has concluded.
Hodgkin's is a disease that affects the lymph nodes and the other immune system organs. Researchers found that women had a 40 percent higher chance of developing breast cancer if they survived Hodgkin's lymphoma. Dr Lois B. Travis, from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, the lead author of the study said, "This study is the first, to our knowledge, to estimate the cumulative absolute risk of breast cancer among women treated for Hodgkin's disease at age 30 years or younger using detailed information on radiation and chemotherapy." The study monitored 3817 young women who survived Hodgkin's between 1965 and 1994. The risks varied based on age at diagnosis, amount of radiation and duration of follow-up. For a patient diagnosed at 15 years of age and treated with miniscule amount of radiation, the risk was 0 percent. It rose to 40 per cent for someone diagnosed at 30 years of age and treated with a large amount of radiation. "Our results provide Hodgkin's patients with an estimate of absolute breast cancer risk, particularly for those treated with wide-field chest radiotherapy that was commonly used from 1965 to 1994," Travis concluded.
The details of this particular study can be found in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.