New Studies Show Most Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Healthy Pregnancies & Children

by: cancercompass

Two U.S. studies show the majority of childhood cancer survivors to have healthy pregnancies and children later in life, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Study authors say life-saving treatments, such as chemotherapy, may affect a child's future reproductive health, and as the number of childhood cancer survivors increases, research is necessary to determine the effects.

One study, published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, compared 1,898 infants who were born to childhood cancer survivors diagnosed before age 20 to 14,278 infants born to women without childhood cancer. While infants born to the childhood cancer survivors weren't at risk for death or birth defects, they were 54% more likely to be born preterm and 31% more likely to weigh less than 5.5 pounds at birth.

Rates of diabetes, preeclampsia and anemia during pregnancy were similar among both female childhood cancer survivors and women who weren't treated for childhood cancers.

Another study in the same journal issue analyzed 470 children of men who had childhood cancer. Researchers found a "borderline risk" of the children weighing less than 5.5 pounds at birth, especially if their father was treated with chemotherapy. Also, female partners of male childhood cancer survivors were not at increased risk for pregnancy complications. However, women did have a higher risk of preeclampsia if their male partner had certain types of childhood cancers, specifically brain tumors.

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