1. ITV Report

Medical issues surrounding child cancer treatments

As Sally Roberts takes the case of her son's cancer treatment to the High Court citing concerns over the long-term affects of surgery and radiotherapy on seven-year-old Neon, we look at the medical issues surrounding the treatment of children with cancer.

These are some of the arguments in favour of treating children with cancer with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy:

  • Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty states research shows that for children with cancer who are treated with surgery alone, there is a 60-70% chance cancer will return
  • 50-60% of children who have both surgery and radiotherapy survive for five years with no recurrence of the cancer
  • This figure rises to 85% for those who also undergo chemotherapy treatment

The possible long-term effects of children receiving cancer treatments include:

  • Damage to other, healthy, areas of the brain
  • Hearing problems
  • Growth difficulties
  • Learning problems

Macmillan Cancer Support and Children with Cancer UK outline the possible side-effects of child cancer treatments on their websites.