Side Affects of Cancer Treatment May Last Years

Cancer patients can go through years of treatment that includes chemotherapy and radiation.

What is still unknown is the long term effect those cancer treatments will have.

Danielle Eichner was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia when she was 11 years old.

While the cancer alone could have killed her, the two and a half years of treatment also took a toll.

Now 22 years old, she is cancer free.

Adults treated for cancer during childhood have an increased risk of heart problems, vision loss, and trouble hearing among other things.

Some experts say the long term effects can extend beyond the physical health issues. "I've had patients who have done extremely well, and have gone on to become doctors and lawyers and what have you. I've had others who have dropped out of school and they've never really been able to adjust to the idea that they're cancer survivors. For them it's not a second lease on life, its like 'who knows when it's going to come back, I may as well live my life to the fullest," explains Dr. Aziza Shad.

Doctors recommend patients start getting screened for possible late effects two years after completing cancer treatment.


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