Many would argue that pediatric cancer, cancer in children specifically those aged 1 to 14, is arguable one of the worse victimizers of children out there. It results in an 80 percent survival rate over 5 years. Unfortunately even those who survive are at an increased risk for a secondary cancer to develop in the skin, thyroids, or breasts. By age 45 almost thirty percent of childhood cancer victims have been re-diagnosed. A much higher rate than someone who didn’t previously have cancer. Noticing this increased risk researchers set to find out the cause. They took a look at about 3007 survivors of childhood cancer and analyze their DNA specifically 156 genes that have been previously linking to cancer. It was found that 11.5 percent of the survivors had a mutation in one of these genes. The researchers then looked specifically at a subset of about 60 genes which carried a higher risk factor than the others, 6 percent of those looked at had a mutation in this subset of genes. Radiation therapy is also increases the risk factor for secondary cancer development. Further dividing up the childhood victims by this factor showed that 17% of individuals who did not have radiation therapy, had a mutation in the subset of 60 genes, and a higher risk for secondary cancer. Individuals who possessed both a mutation in one of the 60 genes and previous radiation treatment had a higher risk for specific kinds of second cancers which included; breast, thyroid or sarcomas, and tumors in connective tissues. The team concluded that individuals who had cancer as a child, did not receive radiation therapy, and then became diagnosed with a secondary cancer receive genetic counseling.
Original article here
for the American Cancer Societies page on pediatric cencer here