For the past 20 years, it has been known that cancer patients who received radiation therapy to their chest for Hodgkin lymphoma had a greater incidence of later developing breast cancer. Researchers wanted to know If giving chemotherapy agents like Daunomycin also had the same side effect? The researchers looked at 1,064 patients who had survived sarcoma treated with chemotherapy medications like Daunomycin. A total of 18 patients later developed breast cancer of which 13 patients (72 percent) had no radiation therapy but just had chemotherapy to treat their cancer as a child. The researchers determined that even without having radiation therapy, patients with cancer treated with chemotherapy agents like Daunomycin also had an increased risk of later developing breast cancer, although the risk is extremely low. Even so, these patients should have regular mammograms after receiving cancer treatment with Daunomycin.
Source: 1. Van Leeuwen FC. Anthracyclines and Alkylating Agents: New Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in Childhood Cancer Survivors? JCO. February 1, 2016.
Dr. Adem Gunes