“Most people assume strokes only happen to octogenarians, but recent evidence suggests that survivors of childhood cancer have a high risk of suffering a stroke at a surprisingly young age.
A new study from the UC San Francisco Pediatric Brain Center shows that childhood cancer survivors suffering one stroke have double the risk of suffering a second stroke, when compared with non-cancer stroke survivors. The study found that the main predictors of recurrent stroke were cranial radiation therapy, hypertension and older age at first stroke — factors that could help physicians identify high-risk patients.
The findings provide strong evidence for adjusting secondary stroke prevention strategies in these patients, and to aggressively detect and treat modifiable stroke risk factors, such as hypertension. Findings appear in the August 26, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“We are at a point where more children are surviving cancer because of life-saving interventions,” said Sabine Mueller, MD, PhD, director of the UCSF Pediatric Brain Tumor Center in UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and co-author of the study. ” Now, we are facing long-term problems associated with these interventions.”
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