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Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer

Cardiovascular System

Heart and blood vessel late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.

Treatment for these and other childhood cancers may cause heart and blood vessel late effects:

Radiation to the chest and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of heart and blood vessel late effects.

The risk of health problems involving the heart and blood vessels increases after treatment with the following:

Childhood cancer survivors who were treated with both radiation to the chest and chemotherapy using anthracyclines are at greatest risk. New treatments that decrease the amount of radiation given and use lower doses of chemotherapy may decrease the risk of heart and blood vessel late effects.

The following may also increase the risk of heart and blood vessel late effects:

Late effects that affect the heart and blood vessels may cause certain health problems.

Childhood cancer survivors who received radiation or certain chemotherapy drugs are at risk of late effects to the heart and blood vessels. These include the following:

Possible signs of heart and blood vessel late effects include trouble breathing and chest pain.

These and other symptoms may be caused by heart and blood vessel late effects:

Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these problems.

Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the heart and blood vessels.

These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose heart and blood vessel late effects:

Talk to your doctor about whether you need to have tests and procedures to check for signs of heart and blood vessel late effects. If you do, find out how often they should be done.

Health habits that promote a healthy heart and blood vessels are important for survivors of childhood cancer.

Childhood cancer survivors with heart and blood vessel late effects should take care to protect their health, including: