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Br J Cancer. 2006 Jun 5;94(11):1745-50.

Multiple primary tumours in women following breast cancer, 1973-2000.

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Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


We investigated the predictors of the risk of developing a second primary cancer after breast cancer, this occurring in about 12% of affected women. The analysis included 335 191 females, registered in the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Observed numbers of subsequent cancers in the SEER database with a first breast cancer diagnosed from 1973 to 2000 were compared with the expected numbers based on age-adjusted incidence rates to calculate standardised incidence ratios. Kaplan-Meier curves were conducted to determine the median time until the second primary cancer diagnosis. Average number of years until diagnosis varied by site and by age as well as median years until second cancer diagnosis. Most cancer risks decreased with age, but there was an increase in aging-related cancers such as lung cancer. The median years of follow-up were well beyond the 5-year mark. Breast cancer survivors should be advised of their increased risk for developing certain cancers in their lifetime.

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