Certain treatments for childhood cancer could increase obesity risk

11 May 2015

Children who have cancer may be at a higher risk of being obese later in life, a new study has suggested.

Published online in CANCER, the research indicates that effective counselling and weight loss interventions could significantly help younger patients who undergo cancer treatment.

Previous studies have found that obesity rates were higher in areas where childhood cancer survivors were exposed to cranial radiation. However, the latest research developed a tool to estimate the prevalence of obesity among children who had survived cancer and to identify the clinical and treatment-related risks for obesity in these individuals.

Led by Dr Carmen Wilson and Dr Kirsten Ness, the study also looked for potential genetic factors that might play a role. Nearly 2,000 people were included in the research, and the team found that nearly half (47 per cent) of survivors who had cranial radiation and were also obese.

In contrast, just 29.4 per cent of survivors were obese who had not received cranial radiation. 

Dr Wilson said the findings could help identify cancer survivors who are most likely to become obese, and could provide a foundation for future research.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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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