Do cancer survivors have an increased risk of a “second primary cancer?” Yes. Why? After researching this question it seems to me that oncologists don’t really know. Certainly, there is an increased risk if you undergo cancer-causing therapy such as radiation and many forms of chemotherapy.
One of the many chemotherapy regimens I underwent was Cytoxan chemotherapy and therefore have an increased risk of bladder cancer. I underwent local palliative radiation and therefore am at increased risk of certain cancers.
But there are specific cancers, such as esophageal cancer, that have an increased risk of head and neck cancers and lung cancers.
My solution? I live my life as if I am at risk for both a relapse of my first cancer, multiple myeloma, as well as a second “primary” tumor. I don’t like it but I cannot change this fact.
I take a number of anti-oxidant, anti-angiogenic supplements. All have evidence-based research showing anti-cancer properties- curcumin, green tea extract, silibinin, etc.
For more information about preventing a second primary cancer that YOU may be concerned about, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply ASAP.
“A term used to describe a new primary cancer that occurs in a person who has had cancer in the past. Second primary cancers may occur months or years after the original (primary) cancer was diagnosed and treated. Certain types of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may increase the risk of a second primary cancer…”
Background: The objective of this study is to assess the risk of second primary cancers following a first primary esophageal cancer as well as the risk of esophageal cancer as a second primary, following first primary cancers of other sites.
Results: During the study period, 959 cases of second primary cancers occurred after an initial esophageal cancer, resulting in a SIR of 1.15 (95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.22). Second primary stomach cancers were associated with first primary esophageal adenocarcinomas (SIR, 2.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.26-3.37) and second primary cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx (6.68; 5.33-8.26), stomach (1.53; 1.14-2.01), larynx (3.24; 1.88-5.18), lung (1.55; 1.28-1.87), kidney (1.88; 1.18-2.85), and thyroid (2.92; 1.18-6.02) were associated with first primary squamous cell carcinomas of the esophagus. An excess of esophageal cancer as a second primary were observed following first primary cancers of the aerodigestive tract, female breast, cervix, testis, bladder, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and non–Hodgkin lymphoma.
CONCLUSION: We observed associations of esophageal cancer with second primary head and neck cancers and lung cancer regardless of years of follow-up, which may suggest that common risk factors play a role in multiple tumor development.