A team from the University of Birmingham conducted a survey from which they learned a shocking fact that childhood cancer survivors, who are most likely to develop tumours as adults, continue to endanger their health by smoking.

The researchers identified the highest smoking rates among patients whose type of treatment put them at greater risk later in life.

Cancer campaigners are concerned about the fact that the survivors are exposing themselves to such" avoidable" dangers and say that investing in more education about the risks of smoking is essential.

There are three types of childhood cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, soft tissue sarcomas and Wilms' tumour, which carry an increased risk of further tumours because of the radiotherapy and chemotherapy used in their treatments. The survey conducted showed that smoking incidence was the highest among people who had been treated for these cancers in childhood, nearly a quarter of the 10,000 former cancer sufferers surveyed.

It is very worrying that those at most risk are most likely to take up smoking. More work and funds needs to be invested in raising awareness of their increased risk of a second cancer and other related health problems if they smoked. Intervention programs would be efficient if targeting cancer survivors as young as 12 as most of them were found to have picked up smoking before the age of 20.

It is important these young cancer survivors get all the necessary information and support to discourage them for starting smoking as this nasty habit is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer.