As hematologic cancer treatment becomes more successful, more people are surviving for longer periods of time after their initial diagnosis, and long-term effects are becoming more common. These effects may be caused by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or stem cell transplantation. They include infertility (due to effects on the reproductive organs); irreversible damage to vital organs, such as the kidneys, lung, liver, or heart; coronary artery disease at an unusually young age; cataracts; impaired growth and development of the brain or bones (especially when treatment was received as a young child); and chronic graft-versus-host disease (caused by stem cell transplants). People with previous treatment for hematologic cancers also have an increased risk of developing acute myelogenous leukemia or other cancers in the future.
Barry S. Skikne, MD
Specialty: Hematology & Oncology
- Hematology & Oncology
Location and Office HoursUniversity of Kansas Medical Center Hematology Oncology
2330 Shawnee Mission Pkwy Ste 3303
Mission, KS 66205
- Kansas City VA Medical Center
- University of Kansas Hospital & Medical Center
What are the long-term effects of hematologic cancer treatment?
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What increases my risk for hematologic cancers?
Your risk of developing a hematologic cancer is increased if you have one or more of the risk factors identified for these disorders. The risk factors generally depend on the type of cancer, but being older is a factor that is common to almost all hematologic cancers. Having one or more relatives with the disease also increases the risk of developing most of the types of hematologic cancers.
Some of the more common risk factors for leukemia are prolonged exposure to benzene, exposure to excessive amounts of radiation, smoking, and being a Caucasian.
Risk factors for lymphoma include being male, being Caucasian, exposure to some pesticides, a diet rich in fats and meat, infection with the Epstein-Barr or human immunodeficiency (HIV) virus, and taking drugs that impair the immune system.
Risk factors for myeloma include being male, being African American, and exposure to excessive radiation.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Do hematologic cancers affect children differently than adults?
Hematologic cancers do affect children differently than adults. In general, they are less common in children than adults; the chance of developing most hematologic cancers increases as a person gets older. The types of hematologic cancers found in children also differ from those seen in adults. For example, the most common leukemia in children is acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), whereas acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is much less common and chronic leukemias are rare. By contrast, AML and chronic leukemias are the most common hematologic cancers in adults. The chances of survival are also often better for children with hematologic cancers than adults. This is partly because of the types of cancer most commonly found in children: ALL is the leukemia with the best prognosis. But even for the same type of cancer, adults can have a worse prognosis. For example, ALL in children has 5-year survival rate of greater than 80 percent, whereas the 5-year survival rate for ALL in adults 65 years or older is approximately 7 percent.
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