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Br J Cancer. 2004 Aug 31;91(5):868-72.

Radiation-induced malignancies following radiotherapy for breast cancer.

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  • 1Thames Cancer Registry, Division of Cancer Studies, Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine, 1st Floor, Capital House, 42 Weston Street, London SE1 3QD, UK. rr257@gen.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

With advances in diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer is becoming an increasingly survivable disease resulting in a large population of long-term survivors. Factors affecting the quality of life of such patients include the consequences of breast cancer treatment, which may have involved radiotherapy. In this study, we compare the incidence of second primary cancers in women who received breast radiotherapy with that in those who did not (non-radiotherapy). All women studied received surgery for their first breast cancer. Second cancers of the lung, colon, oesophagus and thyroid gland, malignant melanomas, myeloid leukaemias and second primary breast cancers were studied. Comparing radiotherapy and non-radiotherapy cohorts, elevated relative risks (RR) were observed for lung cancer at 10-14 years and 15 or more (15+) years after initial breast cancer diagnosis (RR 1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-2.54 and RR 1.49, 95% CI 1.05-2.14, respectively), and for myeloid leukaemia at 1-5 years (RR 2.99, 95% CI 1.13-9.33), for second breast cancer at 5-10 years (RR 1.34, 95% CI 1.10-1.63) and 15+ years (RR 1.26, 95% CI 1.00-1.59) and oesophageal cancer at 15+ years (RR 2.19, 95% CI 1.10-4.62).

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