Study Finds New Information About Breast Cancer Survivors’ Risk of New Cancers

A new study revealed information about breast cancer survivors’ risk of new cancers.

Scientists have known for a while that breast cancer survivors are at an elevated risk of developing other cancers. Now, they’ve pinpointed risk factors for developing secondary cancers.

Photo: Pexels/Ivan Samkov

According to a news release from the American Cancer Society, “One issue affecting breast cancer survivors is the risk of developing a new type of cancer (called a subsequent primary cancer or second cancer). Compared to the general population, breast cancer survivors have a 17% higher risk of developing a new cancer.”

What scientists discovered is that the increased risk of developing a second cancer is not the same for all breast cancer survivors.

Photo: Pexels/Anna Tarazevich

According to the news release, factors that impact secondary cancer include the following:

– Age at diagnosis of the first breast cancer.
– Treatments received: radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormonal therapy.
– Lifestyle factors, such as using tobacco and being obese.
– Genetic susceptibility.
– Subtype of breast cancer that was diagnosed.

The researchers found that, compared to the general public, breast cancer survivors “had a greater risk of developing a subsequent primary cancer when their breast cancer had been HR-negative or diagnosed when they were between 20 and 49 years of age.”

People who survived HR-negative cancer have a 44% higher risk than those with an HR-positive cancer, who have a 20% increased risk.

Photo: Pexels/Anna Tarazevich

People who were diagnosed with breast cancer when they were between 20 and 49 years of age were at a 70%-124% increased risk of developing subsequent cancers.

As the news release notes:

“These findings suggest that the risk of breast cancer survivors developing a subsequent primary cancer differs greatly based on the initial HR subtype and a woman’s age at diagnosis. That knowledge can be used to develop survivorship care plans with more targeted approaches for cancer prevention and early detection, which can help ease the burden of new cancers among breast cancer survivors.”

People, Pets & Planet

Help where it’s needed most at GreaterGood for free!