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Cancer survivors have shorter lifespan due to telomere shortening finds new study

A large study has found that people who have survived cancer and its treatment are more likely to die sooner and have a shorter lifespan compared to those who have never had cancer.

The study is actually a synthesis of over 1,200 published studies that looked at the average life expectancy of people who have had childhood cancers and have survived them with adequate treatment. Results show that their life expectancy is 30 percent less than the general population. The study was published in the journal of the European Society of Medical Oncology or ESMO Open. The study emphasizes on the different complications that may arise among cancer survivors who have beaten the disease as youngsters. These people are more likely to die in their 50’s rather than in their 80’s, finds the study. They note that these individuals are more likely to get other disease conditions later in life such as heart disease, scarring of the lungs, frailty and even secondary or new cancers. These individuals are more susceptible to illnesses that occur due to old age compared to those in the general population. At present there are 30 million cancer survivors worldwide and with the added new 19 million cases each year the numbers are set to rise exponentially by 2025.

The underlying genetic problems that have led to these findings is that these patients generally have shorter telomeres explain researchers.

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