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.


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