Some Childhood Cancer Survivors Face More Challenges at School

Radiation to head for brain and other cancers linked to educational deficits, study finds

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THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- Survivors of childhood brain cancer or other central nervous system cancers, or leukemia, are less successful in school than their peers, a new study has found.

British researchers examined data collected from more than 10,000 five-year survivors of all types of childhood cancer and compared it with data from the general population.

The study authors found that only survivors of central nervous system (CNS) cancers -- especially those who received radiation treatment to the head -- and leukemia survivors who received similar treatment, had a substantial and statistically significant deficit in educational attainment, compared with the general population.

"These results provide grounds for concern for survivors of CNS neoplasms and those with leukemia who were cranially irradiated, as well as reassurance regarding educational attainment among all other survivors," E.R. Lancashire, of the Center for Childhood Cancer Survivor Studies at the University of Birmingham, and colleagues wrote.

The study was published online Jan. 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

More information

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has more about childhood cancer survivorship.

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, news release, Jan. 27, 2010

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