Background It is very imminent that the tissues of infants are immature thereby increasing the risk of re-occurrence of tumours after surviving cancer.
Methods This study was conducted for 6 years amongst 400 children who had earlier survived cancer and treated between 2005–2011 at the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital (Paediatric ward). They were evaluated for re-occurrence of tumours.
Results The findings were that 5 re-occurrences were noticed in 6 of the children in a median time of 6 years. The 5 second malignancies were: 1 acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), 2 breast cancers and 2 sarcomas. The primary diagnosis were Ewing’s sarcoma, osteosarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and neuroblastoma. Two of these children had received multiple therapies for recurrences. A Ewing sarcoma patient developed sarcoma after 4 years, an osteosarcoma patient developed breast cancer after 4 years, an ALL patient developed Ewing sarcoma after 3 years, a mesenchymal chondrosarcoma patient developed breast cancer and osteosarcoma. A soft tissue sarcoma, and an osteosarcoma developed in two bilateral retinoblastoma patients, a sarcoma developed in a rabdomyosarcoma patient after 6 years and in a patient treated for nasopharyngeal carcinoma after 3.5 years all in the radiation field. An extremity osteosarcoma developed in another bilateral retinoblastoma patient after 4 years.
Conclusions Since, the risk of this re-occurrence is associated with the dose of some chemotherapeutics cumulatively, the radiation field and the use of minimal therapy that has the maximum efficacy according to the diagnosis, age, stage and risk of the patient is important.
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