Children who survived cancer have a higher risk of developing gastrointestinal problems, according to a new study.
Researchers say that cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can be particularly harsh on younger patients, causing ulcers, esophagus problems and even cirrhosis of the liver. The study's senior author, Dr. Lisa Diller, said that little is still known about the long-term GI effects in childhood cancer survivors, though she credited the current treatments to dramatically increasing cancer survival rates in children.
Researchers studied 14,358 participants in the Childhood Cancer Survival Study who had cancer between 1970 and 1986.
The study was funded by a grant provided by the National Cancer Institute. It will be presented at the 42nd Congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology in Boston on October 24.
Pediatric oncologists say they're looking into lower-dose treatments and less invasive to reduce the long-term effects.