When cancer therapies cause cancer

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When cancer therapies cause cancer

Medically conventional cancer therapies can in turn cause cancer. The cancer expert and medical doctor Dr. Harald Biersack on the sidelines of the Internist Congress in Wiesbaden.

Late consequences of cancer treatment Patients who have had cancer treatment should definitely follow up with follow-up appointments. Because cancer therapies can have serious health consequences for those affected. Therefore, cancer patients who have already been successfully treated should continue to “remain vigilant”, as tumor treatments, which are usually aggressive to the body, can cause long-term consequences years later. After radiation therapy, the risk of skin cancer increases twice, as the internist Dr. Harald Biersack explained.

Malignant tumors due to radiation therapy After radiation therapy, malignant changes in the bone marrow and the immune system are also at risk. Diseases such as blood cancer (leukemia) and lymphomas are therefore possible. The late effects also include cancers such as breast cancer and thyroid cancer, as well as the less common disease sarcomas. Sarcoma is a cancerous tumor that originates from the supporting tissue and metastasizes into the blood vessels at an early stage. After chemotherapy, the patient is also at risk of heart damage, and radiation therapy can cause lung diseases.

Have follow-up examinations carried out annually In order to recognize the corresponding consequences early on, former cancer patients should absolutely follow all follow-up examinations. "The increased risk of the patients for the secondary diseases will never drop to zero again," warned Biersack. Because after 30 or 40 years, secondary diseases of the therapy could occur. Therefore, after radiotherapy repeated and thorough examinations of the whole organism are necessary every year If you notice any abnormalities in your body or symptoms, you should take them seriously.

Aggressive cancer treatments on the scientific test bench At present aggressive treatment methods of conventional cancer therapy are put on the scientific test bench. In any case, there is no alternative but to destroy the cancer tumor in the patient's body, the expert emphasized. The doctor argues that the complete destruction of cancer cells can usually not be achieved by milder therapies.

Cause of later cancer already scientifically confirmed Scientists at the Biozentrum at the Medical University of Innsbruck recently found out from a study that cancer therapies, in which the activated programmed cell death is brought about by means of stimulated, bodily functions, can be a cause of later cancers. According to the results, it can now be clarified why children who suffer from leukemia often again develop cancer 20 or 30 years later. "Around 15 percent of new cancer cases are now new types of tumor that occur in cancer survivors," said Andreas Villunger, head of the Developmental Immunology Section. Read more: Cancer therapy causes cancer? (sb)

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Cancer Therapy Causes Cancer?

The 117th Congress of the German Society for Internal Medicine (DGIM) is currently taking place in Wiesbaden. More than 8000 doctors and scientists advise and discuss new findings in medicine. The congress ends today with a closing event.

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Video: What is cancer radiotherapy and how does it work? Cancer Research UK

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