Childhood cancer survivors at risk of hormone deficiencies

17 February 2015

A new study has found that children who survive cancer are at a higher risk of suffering hormone deficiencies when they are adults.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the findings are based on more than 700 people who had paediatric cancer and were treated at St Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee.

The study found that more than half (51.4 per cent) of survivors were deficient in at least one of the hormones included in the research, while more than one in ten had multiple deficiencies.

It is the most comprehensive study of its kind, and investigates the effect of cancer treatment on pituitary function. This is key as the pituitary gland makes hormones involved in regulating growth, sexual development and reproduction, bone and muscle strength and many other important functions.

The most common deficits were in hormones responsible for growth, fertility and reproduction, which were also the most likely to remain undiagnosed. The study found that untreated survivors with these deficiencies were also more likely than other participants to experience muscle weakness, poor fitness, heart disease risk factors and other factors associated with an increased risk of frailty and early death.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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