Cancer at any age is dreadful and when the cancer patient is a child, it is hideous. Even after cancer treatment and cure, the effects of this deadly disease remain through the child’s adulthood stages. One study insists on the fact that one in 12 adult survivors of childhood cancer may have undiagnosed blood pressure.
Apart from heart damage due to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, having high blood pressure worsens the situation. Even after diagnosis, one in five patients don’t take medications or follow lifestyle changes needed to treat the disease. One good thing among all these is that, high blood pressure is treatable and less-painful than cancer on any given day.
The Deadly Link Between Cancer Treatment Procedures & Blood Pressure
Research has already established a link between cancer drugs known as anthracyclines to heart muscle weakening and radiation therapy to cardiac rhythm disorders and damages to arteries and valves.
Technology advances have made it feasible for most of the childhood cancer patients to survive through adulthood and hence, they face increased risk of hypertension and other health problems as they age. While the primary reason for death is malignancy, cardiovascular disease is the second reason for death and illness in these cancer survivors.
The study involved 3,016 adults who were cancer survivors since childhood. By the age of 30, 13% of them developed high blood pressure with the percentage increasing dramatically with the patient’s age. It increased to 37% by age 40 and crossed 70% by age 50. In general, these survivors are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as the general population once they grow into adults.
One sure fact is that these patients did not develop blood pressure as a result of radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Also, the patients were checked for BP levels during their single visit every time and there is the probability that some patients could have developed high blood pressure temporarily due to checkup tension.
Also, these patients were followed up continuously and received greater care than other cancer survivors. Any adult in 20s, 30s and 40s does not imagine getting himself/herself checked for blood pressure during those ages but a cancer survivor needs to consider it as his/her chances of acquiring hypertension is higher and can start at an early age.
Such child cancer survivors can also start eating nutritious foods and adapting to a healthier lifestyle to avoid further health complications such as blood pressure and diabetes. They can get in touch with reputed nutritionists/dietitians at www.firsteatright.com who can help them plan a healthy meal keeping all their other health aspects in mind.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.