Patients receiving an allogeneic blood or marrow transplant have a 2-3 fold increased risk of developing secondary cancers related to the treatment, severity of immunosuppression and GvHD; this can be a devastating prospect.
There are a number of factors that can also contribute for example: obesity, poor diet, smoking and excess alcohol intake.
As a population we all need to be vigilant regarding cancer adhering to the following recommendations;
- Check breasts for lumps- screening for breast cancer may start earlier than nationally recommended, particularly if you have had radiotherapy or have a family history of breast cancer.
- Check testes for lumps.
- Check the skin for moles particularly raised, change of colour or bleeding.
- Check mouth for any changes – visit your dentist
- Note any bleeding after moving bowels not related to piles. Note any change in bowel habits. There is a nationwide screening programme (2 yearly) for all people 60-69.
- Cervical smears. It is well documented post transplant that women can have an increased number of abnormal cells in their smear. Monitoring can be done via your practice nurse.
- Family history – be aware of what the symptoms are for that particular cancer and understand the risk factors involved.
There is further information on this website under Everyday Living – Cancer Screening.