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BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7525.1105 (Published 10 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1105
  1. Alison Tonks, associate editor (atonks@bmj.com)

    Effects of childhood cancers persist into adulthood

    When researchers surveyed 11 481 children and adults who had survived at least five years after childhood cancer, nearly a fifth (19.6%) said they still had some sort of physical impairment. They were 4.7 times (95% CI 3.0 to 7.2) more likely than their healthy brothers and sisters to report problems taking care of themselves, and nearly 5.9 times (4.5 to 7.6) more likely to have trouble holding down a job or attending school.

    Respondents who had had brain cancer or bone cancer were most likely to have long term problems—over a quarter of those who survived brain cancer and over a third of those who survived bone cancer reported some kind of physical restriction in their daily lives. Survivors of all cancers were more likely than their siblings to report endocrine, cardiac, pulmonary, or musculoskeletal problems, and 42.6% (4890/11481) had at least one neurological symptom such as pain, abnormal sensations, or weakness in their arms or legs.

    As more children survive their initial cancers, health systems will have to get better at monitoring the prolonged aftermath and offering treatment and rehabilitation to the substantial number who need it, write the authors.

    Ann Intern Med 2005;143: 639-47

    Undiagnosed organ donor infects eight people with hepatitis C

    In summer 2002, a woman from Oregon developed acute hepatitis C six weeks after a patellar tendon graft with bone. The donor had no antibodies against hepatitis C in his blood at the time of his death two years before, and had subsequently donated 44 tissues and organs to a total of 40 people across 16 US states and two other countries.

    Credit: ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE

    A premortem blood sample from the donor contained RNA from hepatitis C virus, indicating that he had an undetected viraemia when he died. After a thorough search, investigators found eight recipients infected with the same virus …

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