Morgan McCann will never forget seeing the doctor just before her 10th birthday for pain in her right leg.
"He did an X-ray, and you could clearly see that the bone was jagged because something was eating away at the surface of the bone."
Morgan had bone cancer. Multiple surgeries, including a hip replacement and chemotherapy, save her life.
Now, a new long-term study from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital shows that most childhood cancer survivors have serious health issues as adults.
"Changes in lung function, heart function, the function of the glands that produce hormones and other brain and nerve function that may affect how they think and process information," says Dr. Melissa Hudson, author of the study.
Researchers examined 1,700 childhood cancer survivors, including Morgan and found 98 percent had at least one chronic health conditions on Cambridge.
Advances in cancer treatment have lead to better childhood survival rates. There are 400,000 childhood cancer survivors in the U.S.
But chemotherapy drugs and radiation are putting those patients at high risk for other problems.
"I know my organs are probably more sensitive than other people's after being blasted with chemotherapy for a year straight," McCann says.
Researchers say these findings are a wake-up call to aging survivors.
"If you notice something is wrong, pursue it immediately."
Researchers say these finding should also be a reminder for healthcare providers to more closely monitor childhood survivors for cancer-related health risks.
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