Scientists have revealed that women who have been treated for Hodgkin lymphoma at young ages have up to a 50 per cent chance of developing breast cancer over the 40 years after treatment. The new study will give this patient group a highly individualised assessment of their risk for the first time.
The Breakthrough Breast Cancer funded study looked at 5,000 British women over a 50 year period. They found a fivefold increased risk of breast cancer for young women who received radiotherapy to their chest as a treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Although it was known that these patients had an increased breast cancer risk, this new research shows specifically what this risk is, depending on the age a woman receives her treatment, the type of treatment she received and how long it is since she was treated.
The new data mean that doctors can advice on a patient's chance of getting breast cancer and therefore make them aware of possible preventative measures.