Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer

15 years after treatment, smokers more likely to have a new tumor, study finds

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MONDAY, May 3, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer survivors who smoke are at increased risk for a second cancer, a new study shows.

Researchers followed women who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and underwent breast-conserving therapy, which consists of a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy.

Fifteen years after treatment, the overall risk of developing a new, second cancer was 25 percent in the 796 smokers and 19 percent in nonsmokers. The risk of developing cancer in the breast that hadn't been treated for cancer was 13 percent for smokers and 8 percent in nonsmokers.

"These new data are significant in that they show women can exercise some control over a known risk factor for developing a new second cancer," senior investigator Dr. Bruce G. Haffty, associate director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, said in a news release.

The study was to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Radium Society, May 1 to 5 in Cancun, Mexico.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about breast cancer.

SOURCE: Cancer Institute of New Jersey, news release, May 2, 2010

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