Childhood Cancer Follow-up


Anchor lead: For women who’ve survived childhood cancers, how can their risk of breast cancer be reduced? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Girls who receive cancer treatment that may involve radiation to the chest area are at increased risk for subsequent breast cancer. Now a new study shows that MRI is the best method to screen them. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Nelson: What they saw is that if you started screening at age 25 and you used annual mammography plus annual MRI you avert 56 to 71% of the deaths you’d see among people who weren’t screened. And when they did some cost effectiveness analysis trying to balance the cost of things like MRI every year against the outcomes, it looked like it might be better to start screening at age 30. I think what you see although this is modeled is this is going to be the best we can do to generate recommendations.  :29

Nelson applauds this study as part of the effort to identify best practices for those who’ve survived cancer, whether as adults or children. He points to the need for a comprehensive strategy for survivors, a group that is blessedly growing. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.