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ASA: Cancer Risk Higher for Older Stroke Survivors

But cancer only affected about 2 percent of those in two-year follow-up period

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Older adults who survive a stroke may have a higher-than-average risk of developing cancer in the next few years, according to a study scheduled to be presented Thursday at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 11 to 13 in Nashville, Tenn.

“We already knew that cancer patients are at increased risk of stroke. But what happens when you turn it around and look at cancer risks for ischemic stroke survivors? That was our question,” Malik Adil, M.D., lead author from the research team at the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Institute in St. Cloud, Minn., said in an association news release.

The research team analyzed data from the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention multicenter trial from 1997 to 2001. They calculated cancer rate differences between the stroke and non-stroke groups at one month, six months, one year, and two years, as well as the risk of death and other cardiovascular events. The findings were compared between stroke survivors who did and didn’t develop cancer.

Over two years of follow-up, 2 percent of ischemic stroke survivors were newly diagnosed with a wide range of cancers, including skin, prostate, breast, lung, and bladder cancer. Stroke survivors over age 50 were 1.4 times more likely to develop cancer within two years than their counterparts who were age 50 and under.

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