AACR: After Cervical Cancer, Higher Risk of Second Cancer

HPV, smoking and irradiation increase risk of secondary cancers in cervical cancer patients

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Cervical cancer survivors are at increased risk of developing secondary cancers even 40 years later, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles. The increased risk seems to be related to specific factors, including human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, smoking and irradiation.

Anil Chaturvedi, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., culled 13 population-based cancer registries for cervical cancer patients. They identified 104,760 cancer survivors and followed them for more than 40 years, starting one year after their diagnosis.

Overall, the patients had a 30 percent higher risk of developing a secondary cancer than women in the general population. Cancers related to HPV infection including oropharynx, female genital and anal cancer, and cancers at common smoking-related sites were elevated among the patients. The researchers did not have information regarding smoking status. Women who underwent radiation were also at increased risk of secondary cancers in close proximity to the cervix.

"What's most significant is that even as far out as 40 years after diagnosis, these women have an increased risk for second cancers. These results suggest a need for close medical surveillance for second cancers," Chaturvedi said in a statement.


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