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Cancer-related Endocrine Disorders (Pediatrics)

What are cancer-related endocrine disorders?

Children and adolescents who are cancer survivors may develop these disorders, as a result of their life-saving treatment.

Radiation therapy targeting the brain can affect the ability of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to produce hormones. This may result in growth hormone deficiency, low thyroid hormone production, adrenal insufficiency and low reproductive hormones.

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also affect reproductive organs (ovaries and testes) resulting in low estrogen or testosterone production.

Before starting cancer treatment, girls and boys may consider egg retrieval or sperm banking so they will have future reproductive options.

Because reproductive hormones are affected, bones may also be compromised. Pediatric cancer survivors may require hormone replacement therapy to improve bone health.