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What are the long-term effects of hematologic cancer treatment?

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.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.