National Cancer Institute


Posted Date: Apr 27, 2014

Expert-reviewed information summary about the health problems that continue or appear after cancer treatment has ended.

Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer

General Information about Late Effects

Key Points for this Section

  • Late effects are health problems that occur months or years after treatment has ended.
  • Late effects in childhood cancer survivors are both physical and emotional.
  • There are three important factors that affect the risk of late effects.
  • The chance of having late effects increases over time.
  • Regular follow-up care is very important for survivors of childhood cancer.
  • Good health habits are also important for survivors of childhood cancer.

Late effects are health problems that occur months or years after treatment has ended.

The cancer itself or the treatment of cancer may cause health problems for childhood cancer survivors months or years after successful treatment has ended. Cancer treatments may harm the body's organs, bones, or tissues and cause health problems later in life. These health problems are called late effects. Treatments that may cause late effects include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or stem cell transplant.

Doctors are studying the late effects caused by cancer treatment. They are working to improve treatments and stop or lessen late effects. While most late effects are not life-threatening, they may cause serious problems that affect health and quality of life.

Late effects in childhood cancer survivors are both physical and emotional.

Late effects in childhood cancer survivors may affect the following:

  • Organs, tissues, and body function.
  • Growth and development.
  • Mood, feelings, and actions.
  • Thinking, learning, and memory.
  • Social and psychological adjustment.
  • Risk of second cancers.

There are three important factors that affect the risk of late effects.

Many childhood cancer survivors will have late effects. The risk of late effects depends on factors related to the patient, tumor, and treatment. These include the following:

  • Tumor-related factors Type of cancer.Where the tumor is in the body.How the tumor affects the way tissues and organs work.
  • Treatment-related factors Type of surgery.Chemotherapy type, dose, and schedule.Radiation therapy type, part of the body treated, and dose.Stem cell transplant.Use of two or more types of treatment at the same time.Blood product transfusion.
  • Patient-related factorsThe child's gender. The child’s age at diagnosis and treatment. Length of time since diagnosis and treatment. Certain changes in the child's genes.Being exposed to substances in the environment that cause cancer.Family history of cancer or other conditions.Health problems the child had before being diagnosed with cancer.Health habits.

The chance of having late effects increases over time.

New treatments for childhood cancer have decreased the number of deaths from the primary cancer. However, the number of late effects in childhood cancer survivors increases with longer time since treatment and with older age. Survivors may not live as long as people who did not have cancer. The most common causes of death in childhood cancer survivors are:

  • The primary cancer comes back.
  • A second (different) primary cancer forms.
  • Heart and lung damage.

Studies of the causes of late effects have led to changes in treatment. This has improved the quality of life for cancer survivors and helps prevent illness and death from late effects.

Regular follow-up care is very important for survivors of childhood cancer.

Regular follow-up by health professionals who are experts in finding and treating late effects is important for the long-term health of childhood cancer survivors. Follow-up care will be different for each person who has been treated for cancer. The type of care will depend on the type of cancer, the type of treatment, genetic factors, and the person's general health and health habits.

It is important that childhood cancer survivors have an exam at least once a year. The exams should be done by a health professional who is familiar with the survivor's risk for late effects and can recognize the early signs of late effects. Blood and imaging tests may also be done.

Long-term follow-up may improve the health and quality of life for cancer survivors and also helps doctors study the late effects of cancer treatments so that safer therapies for newly diagnosed children may be developed.

Good health habits are also important for survivors of childhood cancer.

The quality of life enjoyed by cancer survivors may be improved by behaviors that promote health and well-being. These include a healthy diet, exercise, and regular medical and dental checkups. These self-care behaviors are especially important for cancer survivors because of their risk of treatment-related health problems. Healthy behaviors may make late effects less severe and lower the risk of other diseases.

Avoiding behaviors that are damaging to health is also important. Smoking, excess alcohol use, illegal drug use, sun exposure, or not being physically active may worsen treatment-related organ damage and possibly increase the risk of second cancers.

Second Cancers

Key Points for this Section

  • Childhood cancer survivors have an increased risk of a second cancer later in life.
  • Certain genetic patterns or syndromes may increase the risk of a second cancer.
  • Patients who have been treated for cancer need regular screening tests to check for a second cancer.
  • The kind of test used to screen for a second cancer depends on the kind of cancer treatment the patient had in the past.

Childhood cancer survivors have an increased risk of a second cancer later in life.

A different primary cancer that occurs at least two months after cancer treatment ends is called a second cancer. A second cancer may occur months or years after treatment is completed. The type of second cancer that occurs depends in part on the original type of cancer and the cancer treatment.

Second cancers that occur after cancer treatment include the following:

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia may appear less than 10 years after a primary cancer diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or sarcoma and treatment with chemotherapy that includes one of the following:Alkylating agent such as cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, mechlorethamine, melphalan, busulfan, carmustine, lomustine, chlorambucil, or dacarbazine.Topoisomerase II inhibitor agent such as etoposide or teniposide.
  • Solid tumors may appear more than 10 years after primary cancer diagnosis and treatment including: Breast cancer after high-dose chest radiation treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. Treatment with low-dose chest radiation may also increase breast cancer risk. Thyroid cancer after neck radiation treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, acute lymphocytic leukemia, or brain tumors, after radioactive iodine therapy for neuroblastoma, or after total-body irradiation (TBI) as part of a stem cell transplant.Brain tumors after radiation treatment to the head for a primary brain tumor or for acute lymphocytic leukemia or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. When intrathecal methotrexate chemotherapy and radiation therapy are given together, the risk of a brain tumor is even higher.Bone tumors after radiation treatment for retinoblastoma, Ewing sarcoma, and other cancers of the bone. Treatment with an alkylating agent also increases the risk of a bone tumor.Sarcomas after radiation therapy. The risk increases with higher doses of radiation. Chemotherapy with anthracyclines also increases the risk of sarcomas.Lung cancer after radiation treatment to the chest for Hodgkin lymphoma, especially in patients who smoke.Stomach, liver, or colorectal cancer after radiation therapy to the abdomen. The risk increases with higher doses of radiation. Treatment with chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy and radiation therapy combined also increases the risk of stomach, liver, or colorectal cancer.Nonmelanoma skin cancer after radiation therapy; it usually appears in the area where radiation is given. Being exposed to UV radiation may increase this risk. Patients who develop nonmelanoma skin cancer after radiation therapy have an increased chance of developing other types of cancers in the future.Malignant melanoma after radiation therapy or combination chemotherapy with alkylating agents and antimitotic drugs. Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, hereditary retinoblastoma, soft tissue sarcoma, and gonadal tumors are more likely to be at risk. Malignant melanoma as a second cancer is more rare after treatment than nonmelanoma skin cancer.Oral cavity cancer after chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant or a history of chronic graft-versus-host disease.Kidney cancer after treatment for neuroblastoma, radiation therapy to the middle of the back, or chemotherapy such as cisplatin or carboplatin.

Certain genetic patterns or syndromes may increase the risk of a second cancer.

Some childhood cancer survivors may have an increased risk of developing a second cancer because they have a family history of cancer or an inherited genetic syndrome such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Problems with the way DNA is repaired in cells and the way anticancer drugs are used in the body may also affect the risk of second cancers.

Patients who have been treated for cancer need regular screening tests to check for a second cancer.

It is important for patients who have been treated for cancer to be checked for a second cancer before symptoms appear. This is called screening for a second cancer and may help find a second cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread.

It is important to remember that your child's doctor does not necessarily think your child has cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when your child has no cancer symptoms. If a screening test result is abnormal, your child may need to have more tests done to find out if he or she has a second cancer. These are called diagnostic tests.

The kind of test used to screen for a second cancer depends on the kind of cancer treatment the patient had in the past.

All patients who have been treated for cancer should have a physical exam and medical history done once a year. A physical exam of the body is done to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps, changes in the skin, or anything else that seems unusual. A medical history is taken to learn about the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments.

If the patient was treated for leukemia, a complete blood count (CBC) may be done. The CBC is usually done every year for 10 years after treatment with an alkylating agent or topoisomerase II inhibitor ends.

  • Complete blood count (CBC) with differential: A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following: The number of red blood cells and platelets.The number and type of white blood cells.The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.

If the patient received radiation therapy, the following tests and procedures may be used:

  • Skin exam: A doctor or nurse checks the skin for bumps or spots that look abnormal in color, size, shape, or texture, especially in the area where radiation was given. It is suggested that a skin exam be done once a year to check for signs of skin cancer.
  • Breast self-exam: An exam of the breast by the patient. The patient carefully feels the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. It is suggested that women treated with radiation therapy to the chest do a monthly breast self-exam beginning at puberty until age 25 years.
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE): An exam of the breast by a doctor or other health professional. The doctor will carefully feel the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. It is suggested that women treated with radiation therapy to the chest have a clinical breast exam every 6 months beginning at puberty until age 25 years.
  • Mammogram: An x-ray of the breast. A mammogram may be done in women who had radiation to the chest and who do not have dense breasts. It is suggested that these women have a mammogram once a year starting 8 years after treatment or at age 25 years, whichever is later.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI). An MRI may be done in women who had radiation to the chest and who have dense breasts. It is suggested that these women have an MRI once a year starting 8 years after treatment or at age 25 years, whichever is later.
  • Colonoscopy: A procedure to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer. A colonoscope is inserted through the rectum into the colon. A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove polyps or tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer. It is suggested that childhood cancer survivors who had radiation to the abdomen, pelvis, or spine have a colonoscopy every 5 years. This begins at age 35 years or 10 years after treatment ended, whichever is later.

Cardiovascular System

Key Points for this Section

  • Heart and blood vessel late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.
  • Radiation to the chest and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of heart and blood vessel late effects.
  • Late effects that affect the heart and blood vessels may cause certain health problems.
  • Possible signs and symptoms of heart and blood vessel late effects include trouble breathing and chest pain.
  • Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the heart and blood vessels.
  • Health habits that promote a healthy heart and blood vessels are important for survivors of childhood cancer.

Heart and blood vessel late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.

Treatment for these and other childhood cancers may cause heart and blood vessel late effects:

Radiation to the chest and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of heart and blood vessel late effects.

The risk of health problems involving the heart and blood vessels increases after treatment with the following:

  • Radiation to the chest or spine: The risk of problems depends on the part of the heart that was exposed to radiation, the amount of radiation given, and whether the radiation was given in small or large doses.
  • Radiation to the brain or neck: The risk of problems depends on the part of the brain or neck that was treated with radiation and the amount of radiation given.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy with anthracyclines such as doxorubicin, daunorubicin, idarubicin, epirubicin, and mitoxantrone. The risk of problems depends on the total dose of anthracycline given. It also depends on whether a drug called dexrazoxane was given during treatment with anthracyclines to lessen heart and blood vessel damage.
  • Stem cell transplant.
  • Biologic therapy.

Childhood cancer survivors who were treated with radiation to the chest or chemotherapy using anthracyclines are at greatest risk. New treatments that decrease the amount of radiation given and use lower doses of chemotherapy may decrease the risk of heart and blood vessel late effects.

The following may also increase the risk of heart and blood vessel late effects:

Late effects that affect the heart and blood vessels may cause certain health problems.

Childhood cancer survivors who received radiation or certain chemotherapy drugs are at risk of late effects to the heart and blood vessels. These include the following:

Possible signs and symptoms of heart and blood vessel late effects include trouble breathing and chest pain.

These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by heart and blood vessel late effects or by other conditions:

  • Trouble breathing, especially when you are lying down.
  • Heartbeat that is too slow, too fast, or different from the heart's normal rhythm.
  • Chest pain.
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen.
  • When exposed to cold or having strong emotions, the fingers, toes, ears, or nose become white and then turn blue. When this happens to the fingers, there may also be pain and tingling.
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body).
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking or feeling dizzy.
  • Sudden loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache for no known reason.

Talk to your child's doctor if your child has any of these problems.

Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the heart and blood vessels.

These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose heart and blood vessel late effects:

  • Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking the heart for signs of disease, such as abnormal heart beat or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): A recording of the heart's electrical activity to evaluate its rate and rhythm. A number of small pads (electrodes) are placed on the patient’s chest, arms, and legs, and are connected by wires to the EKG machine. Heart activity is then recorded as a line graph on paper. Electrical activity that is faster or slower than normal may be a sign of heart disease or damage.
  • Echocardiogram: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves ( ultrasound) are bounced off the heart and nearby tissues or organs and make echoes. A moving picture is made of the heart and heart valves as blood is pumped through the heart.
  • Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs such as the heart and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. The picture can be printed to be looked at later.
  • Lipid profile studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of triglycerides, cholesterol, and low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood.

Talk to your child's doctor about whether your child needs to have tests and procedures to check for signs of heart and blood vessel late effects. If tests are needed, find out how often they should be done.

Health habits that promote a healthy heart and blood vessels are important for survivors of childhood cancer.

Childhood cancer survivors with heart and blood vessel late effects should take care to protect their health, including:

  • Having a healthy weight.
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet.
  • Having regular exercise.
  • Talking to their doctor before starting an intense exercise program.
  • Not smoking.

Central Nervous System

Key Points for this Section

  • Brain and spinal cord late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.
  • Radiation to the brain increases the risk of brain and spinal cord late effects.
  • Late effects that affect the brain and spinal cord may cause certain health problems.
  • Possible signs and symptoms of brain and spinal cord late effects include headaches, loss of coordination, and seizures.
  • Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Survivors of childhood cancer may have anxiety and depression related to their cancer.
  • Some childhood cancer survivors have post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Teenagers who are diagnosed with cancer may have social problems later in life.

Brain and spinal cord late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.

Treatment for these and other childhood cancers may cause brain and spinal cord late effects:

Radiation to the brain increases the risk of brain and spinal cord late effects.

The risk of health problems that affect the brain or spinal cord increases after treatment with the following:

When radiation to the brain and intrathecal chemotherapy are given at the same time, the risk of late effects is higher.

The following may also increase the risk of brain and spinal cord late effects:

  • Being female and having radiation therapy.
  • Being young at the time of treatment.
  • Having hydrocephalus and a shunt placed to removed the extra fluid from the ventricles.
  • Having seizures caused by the tumor.
  • Having hearing loss.
  • Having cerebellar mutism following surgery to remove the brain tumor. Cerebellar mutism includes not being able to speak, loss of coordination and balance, mood swings, being irritable, and having a high-pitched cry.
  • Having a tumor that forms in the top part of the brain.

Late effects that affect the brain and spinal cord may cause certain health problems.

Childhood cancer survivors who received radiation, intrathecal chemotherapy, or surgery to the brain or spinal cord are at risk of late effects to the brain and spinal cord. These include the following:

  • Headaches.
  • Loss of coordination and balance.
  • Seizures.
  • Loss of the myelin sheath that covers nerve fibers in the brain.
  • Movement disorders that affect the legs and eyes or the ability to speak and swallow.
  • Nerve damage in the hands or feet.
  • Stroke.
  • Hydrocephalus.
  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control.

Survivors may also have late effects that affect thinking, learning, and behavior.

Possible signs and symptoms of brain and spinal cord late effects include headaches, loss of coordination, and seizures.

These signs and symptoms may be caused by brain and spinal cord late effects or by other conditions:

  • Headache that may go away after vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Loss of balance, lack of coordination, or trouble walking.
  • Trouble speaking, swallowing or coordinating eye movements.
  • Numbness, tingling, weakness in the hands or feet; being unable to bend your ankle to lift your foot up.
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body).
  • Unusual sleepiness or change in activity level.
  • Unusual changes in personality or behavior.
  • A change in bowel habits or trouble urinating.
  • Increase in head size (in infants).
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Sudden severe headache for no known reason.

Other signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Problems with memory.
  • Problems with paying attention.
  • Trouble with solving problems.
  • Trouble with organizing thoughts and tasks.
  • Ability to learn and use new information slows down.
  • Trouble learning to read, write, or do math.
  • Trouble coordinating movement between the eyes, hands, and other muscles.
  • Delays in normal development.
  • Social withdrawal.

Talk to your child's doctor if your child has any of these problems.

Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the brain and spinal cord.

These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose brain and spinal cord late effects:

  • Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
  • Neurological exam: A series of questions and tests to check the brain, spinal cord, and nerve function. The exam checks a person’s mental status, coordination, and ability to walk normally, and how well the muscles, senses, and reflexes work. This may also be called a neuro exam or a neurologic exam. In some cases, a more detailed exam may be done by a neurologist or neurosurgeon.
  • Neuropsychological assessment: A series of tests to examine the patient's mental processes and behavior. Areas that are checked usually include: Knowing who and where you are and what day it is.Ability to learn and remember new information. Intelligence.Ability to solve problems.Use of oral and written language.Eye-hand coordination.Ability to organize information and tasks.

Talk to your child's doctor about whether your child needs to have tests and procedures to check for signs of brain and spinal cord late effects. If tests are needed, find out how often they should be done.

Survivors of childhood cancer may have anxiety and depression related to their cancer.

Survivors of childhood cancer may have anxiety and depression related to physical changes, the way they look, or the fear of cancer coming back. This may cause problems with personal relationships, education, employment, and health. Survivors with these problems may be less likely to live independently as adults.

Yearly follow-up exams for childhood cancer survivors should include screening and treatment for possible psychological distress.

Some childhood cancer survivors have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Being diagnosed and treated for a life-threatening disease may be traumatic. This trauma may cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is defined as having certain behaviors following a stressful event that involved death or the threat of death, serious injury, or a threat to oneself or others.

PTSD can affect cancer survivors in the following ways:

  • Reliving the time they were diagnosed and treated for cancer, in nightmares or flashbacks, and thinking about it all the time.
  • Avoiding places, events, and people that remind them of the cancer experience.
  • Being constantly overexcited, fearful, irritable, or unable to sleep, or having trouble concentrating.

In general, childhood cancer survivors show low levels of PTSD, depending in part on the coping style of patients and their parents. Survivors who received radiation therapy to the head when younger than 4 years or survivors who received intensive treatment may be at higher risk of PTSD. Family problems, little or no social support from family or friends, and stress not related to the cancer may increase the chances of having PTSD.

Because avoiding places and persons connected to the cancer may be part of PTSD, survivors with PTSD may not get the medical treatment they need.

Teenagers who are diagnosed with cancer may have social problems later in life.

Teenagers who are diagnosed with cancer may reach fewer social milestones or reach them later in life than teenagers not diagnosed with cancer. Social milestones include having a first boyfriend, getting married, and having a child. They may also have trouble getting along with other people or feel like they are not liked by their peers.

Cancer survivors in this age group have reported being less satisfied with their health and their lives in general compared with others of the same age who did not have cancer. Teenagers and young adults who have survived cancer need special programs that provide psychological, educational, and employment support.

Digestive System

Key Points for this Section

  • Teeth and jaws
    • Problems with the teeth and jaws are late effects that are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.
    • Radiation to the head and neck and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of late effects to the teeth and jaws.
    • Late effects that affect the teeth and jaws may cause certain health problems.
    • Possible signs and symptoms of late effects of the teeth and jaws include tooth decay (cavities) and jaw pain.
    • Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the mouth and jaws.
    • Regular dental care is very important for survivors of childhood cancer.
  • Digestive tract
    • Digestive tract late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.
    • Radiation to the bladder, prostate, or testicles and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of digestive tract late effects.
    • Late effects that affect the digestive tract may cause certain health problems.
    • Possible signs and symptoms of digestive tract late effects include abdominal pain and diarrhea.
    • Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the digestive tract.
  • Liver and bile ducts
    • Liver and bile duct late effects are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.
    • Certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation to the liver or bile ducts increase the risk of late effects.
    • Late effects that affect the liver and bile ducts may cause certain health problems.
    • Possible signs and symptoms of liver and bile duct late effects include abdominal pain and jaundice.
    • Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the liver and bile duct.
    • Health habits that promote a healthy liver are important for survivors of childhood cancer.
  • Pancreas
    • Radiation therapy increases the risk of pancreatic late effects.
    • Late effects that affect the pancreas may cause certain health problems.
    • Possible signs and symptoms of pancreatic late effects include frequent urination and being thirsty.
    • Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the pancreas.

Teeth and jaws

Problems with the teeth and jaws are late effects that are more likely to occur after treatment for certain childhood cancers.

Treatment for these and other childhood cancers may cause the late effect of problems with teeth and jaws:

Radiation to the head and neck and certain chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of late effects to the teeth and jaws.

The risk of health problems that affect the teeth and jaws increases after treatment with the following:

Risk may also be increased in survivors who were younger than 5 years at the time of treatment because their permanent teeth had not fully formed.

Late effects that affect the teeth and jaws may cause certain health problems.

Childhood cancer survivors who received radiation to the head and neck or certain chemotherapy drugs are at risk of late effects to the teeth and jaws. These include the following:

  • Teeth that are not normal.
  • Tooth decay (including cavities) and gum disease.
  • salivary glands do not make enough saliva.
  • Jaw bones do not fully form.
  • Death of the bone cells in the jaw.

Possible signs and symptoms of late effects of the teeth and jaws include tooth decay (cavities) and jaw pain.

These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by late effects of the teeth and jaws or by other conditions:

  • Teeth are small or do not have a normal shape.
  • Missing permanent teeth.
  • Permanent teeth come in at a later than normal age.
  • More tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease than normal.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Jaws do not open and close the way they should.

Talk to your child's doctor if your child has any of these problems.

Certain tests and procedures are used to detect (find) and diagnose health problems in the mouth and jaws.

These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose late effects of the teeth and jaws:

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