Women who were exposed to chest radiation to treat cancer during childhood have a risk of developing breast cancer as adults that is comparable to that of women with a high genetic risk of the disease, according to a study being presented Monday.
Researchers analyzed data from 1,268 women who survived childhood cancer treated between 1970 and 1986 and found that by age 50, 24% had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Wall Street Journal
And from the Washington Post:
“We find that by age 50, approximately 30 percent of women treated with radiation for Hodgkin lymphoma” as girls have developed breast cancer, said Chaya Moskowitz, a biostatistician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who led the study.
That is far higher than the 4 percent rate for the general population, and is comparable to the rate in women who have mutations in inherited BRCA genes that increase risk. Among women who had chest radiation for any type of childhood cancer, 24 percent developed breast cancer by age 50.
The study was to be presented Monday at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.