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Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer

Digestive System

Key Points for this Section

Teeth and jaws

Problems with the teeth and jaws are late effects that are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.

Treatment for these and other childhood cancers may cause the late effect of problems with teeth and jaws:

Radiation to the head and neck and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of late effects to the teeth and jaws.

The risk of health problems that affect the teeth and jaws increases after treatment with the following:

Risk may also be increased in survivors who were younger than 5 years at the time of treatment because their permanent teeth had not fully formed.

Late effects that affect the teeth and jaws may cause certain health problems.

Childhood cancer survivors who received radiation to the head and neck or certain chemotherapy drugs are at risk of late effects to the teeth and jaws. These include the following:

Possible signs of late effects of the teeth and jaws include tooth decay (cavities) and jaw pain.

These symptoms may be caused by late effects of the teeth and jaws:

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 mouth and jaws.

These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose late effects of the teeth and jaws:

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

Regular dental care is very important for survivors of childhood cancer.

A dental check-up is suggested every 6 months for survivors of childhood cancer. Also a dental cleaning and fluoride treatment is suggested every 6 months.

Digestive tract

Digestive tract late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.

Treatment for these and other childhood cancers may cause late effects of the digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum and anus):

Radiation to the bladder, prostate, or testicles and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of digestive tract late effects.

The risk of health problems that affect the digestive tract increases after treatment with the following:

The following may also increase the risk of digestive tract late effects:

Late effects that affect the digestive tract may cause certain health problems.

Digestive tract late effects include the following:

Possible signs of digestive tract late effects include abdominal pain and diarrhea.

These symptoms may be caused by digestive tract 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 digestive tract.

These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose digestive tract late effects:

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

Liver and bile ducts

Liver and bile duct late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.

Treatment for these and other childhood cancers may cause liver or bile duct late effects:

Certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation to the liver or bile ducts increase the risk of late effects.

The risk of liver or bile duct late effects may be increased in childhood cancer survivors treated with one of the following:

Being infected with the hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, or both also increases the risk of liver damage.

Late effects that affect the liver and bile ducts may cause certain health problems.

Liver and bile duct late effects include the following:

Possible signs of liver and bile duct late effects include abdominal pain and jaundice.

These symptoms may be caused by liver and bile duct 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 liver and bile duct.

These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose liver or bile duct late effects:

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

Health habits that promote a healthy liver are important for survivors of childhood cancer.

Childhood cancer survivors with liver late effects should take care to protect their health, including: