Largely due to the exposure to radiation therapy, people who have survived cancer in their childhood may be at an increased risk for developing hormones disorders that may lead to thyroid disease, testicular dysfunction and diabetes, later, say experts.
To warn healthcare providers about these risks, the Endocrine Society, an international medical organisation, issued this week a "Clinical Practice Guideline" which was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).
"Childhood cancer survivors have a high risk of developing endocrine disorders," said Charles Sklar of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York who chaired the writing committee that developed the guideline.
The endocrine system has eight major glands that make hormones that help control many important body functions including regulation of blood sugar.
Childhood cancer is relatively rare, and due to improvements in treatment and patient care, the current five-year survival rates exceed 80 per cent.