Girls' Cancer Treatments Hike Breast Cancer Risk as much as 7 times
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 4, 2012 12:41 PM CDT
Treatment for childhood cancer raises the risk of adult breast cancer, a study says.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The powerful therapies used to treat cancer in girls drastically increase their odds of suffering breast cancer as adults—by as much as six or seven times, a study finds. For most women, the odds of getting breast cancer by age 50 are about 4%. Among women who received chest radiation as kids, however, it's 24%, while women who were treated for Hodgkin lymphoma face a 30% risk, USA Today reports.

That's far higher than the 10% risk among women with mutations in the BRCA2 gene, and it approaches the 31% risk among women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene—mutations that sometimes prompt women to have ovary removals or mastectomies. The study reviewed 1,268 women between 1970 and 1986, the Wall Street Journal notes, and the breast cancer risk may increase as subjects get older. In short, "cure is not enough," says an expert.