Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Adult survivors of childhood leukemia exercise less, increasing complications

Filed under: ,

Survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) face an increased risk of complications as a result of their cancer treatment. For a variety of reasons, many survivors avoid simple exercise and lifestyle changes that could reverse this damage, according research out of Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

Such ALL survivors are less physically active than the general population, according to the researchers. Also, survivors of ALL who received cranial radiotherapy, or "whole brain radiation", report the lowest activity among all adults, suggesting that this therapy, when administered in childhood, may affect an individual's activity in the future.

The reseachers note that the survivors are not lazy, but that the "whole brain radiation" treatment alters something in the central nervous system, leading to a decrease in the level of physical activity.

Because of the risk associated with cranial radiotherapy and improved chemotherapy drugs, cranial radiotherapy is now only used to treat children with very aggressive forms of ALL.

No comments: