Some organs and parts of the body are more likely to be affected by radiation than others.
Normal brain cells grow quickly in the first few years of life, making them very sensitive to radiation.
Doctors try to avoid using radiation therapy to the head or to postpone it in children younger than 3 years old to limit damage that might affect brain development.
Some children are at greater risk for side effects.
For example, children with the hereditary form of retinoblastoma (an eye cancer) are more sensitive to the effects of radiation.
Below are some of the more common possible late effects of cancer treatment.
This is by no means a complete list, as other late effects can occur as well.Surgery is an important part of treatment for many cancers.As with other types of treatment, the possible long-term effects of surgery depend on a number of different factors.Children with brain tumors or with acute lymphocytic (lymphoblastic) leukemia (ALL) are most likely to have late effects in the brain, but children with other cancers may be affected as well.Treatments that can affect the brain include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.Other things that can affect a child’s risk include: Late effects are caused by the damage that cancer treatment does to healthy cells in the body.