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Breast Cancer Risk Raised in Hodgkin's Disease Survivors

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Friday, February 13, 2009

FRIDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Women who survived Hodgkin's disease as children have a 37-fold higher risk of developing breast cancer than women in the general population, particularly bilateral disease, according to study findings published in the September issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology - Biology - Physics.

Swati K. Basu, Ph.D., from the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues examined the risk of developing breast cancer and time to develop breast cancer and bilateral disease in 398 female survivors of pediatric Hodgkin's disease.

The investigators found that 29 women developed breast cancer after a period of 9.4 to 36.1 years, with a cumulative incidence of 24 percent at 30 years. Bilateral disease developed in 10 of the women (34 percent), with contralateral breast cancer developing after 12 to 34 months. After adjusting for possible confounding factors, Hodgkin's disease diagnosed at an early stage and at an older age (over 12 years old) significantly predicted secondary breast cancer, the researchers report.

"Screening programs to detect breast cancer should be initiated within nine years after Hodgkin's disease," the authors conclude. "Additional studies are also necessary to determine whether patients with early-stage Hodgkin's disease are biologically different and therefore predisposed to develop breast cancer."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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