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Early cancer therapy and heart problems

9:22am, June 18, 2003

From Chicago, at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Numerous studies have indicated that children who receive certain chemotherapy drugs and chest-radiation treatments for cancer face a heightened risk of heart disease later in life. In a new study, researchers report that cardiovascular symptoms show up as early as 10 years after treatment.

Steven Lipshultz of the University of Rochester in New York and his colleagues documented the risk by examining 176 young-adult cancer survivors and 64 of their siblings who never had cancer. The former patients had been treated for leukemia, lymphoma, or another cancer an average of 15 years before the study.

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