Children who have Survived Cancer Should Get Regular Heart Checks - Study

A recent study carried out by US doctors has revealed that children who have battled and survived cancer are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems later in life and must be screened very carefully and regularly.

Routine cancer treatment, like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which anyways have various side-effects, can harm a patient's heart, thereby multiplying the risk of death due to heart problems by at least seven.

Health guidelines in UK currently recommend thorough heart checks every five years, but the study has urged that the frequency should be much more for those who have survived cancer in childhood. It has been discovered that many survivors receive no follow-up heart checks, as confirmed by doctors from America who studied data collected from 14,000 childhood cancer survivors.

With the number of survivors now steadily increasing, on the back of better facilities and early detection through regular screening, health officials need to carefully look for any signs of heart problems in patients.

The study, which was led by Professor Daniel Mulrooney, of the University of Minnesota, has been published online at bmj. com.