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Survivors Of Breast Cancer Are At Higher Risk Of Second Cancer: A Study

Avatar of Salman Ahmad



Breast Cancer
Young breast cancer survivors at higher risk of second cancer, study

(CTN News) – The results of a recent study suggest that young women who have survived breast cancer may be at higher risk of developing a second primary breast cancer.

A new study, led by Kristen D. Brantley, PhD, of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, published in JAMA Oncology, indicates that younger cancer survivors who have certain genetic mutations or were initially diagnosed with early-stage cancer have a much greater chance of developing a second breast cancer, according to Medscape.

There is a greater likelihood of second primary cancer in women who are under age 40 when they are first diagnosed with cancer than in women who are over age 40 when they are first diagnosed.

Researchers studied 685 young women who had been diagnosed with stage 0-III breast cancer before 40 in order to understand the risk of developing another cancer.

Additionally, the researchers examined the data of 547 women who had had a bilateral mastectomy, which is defined as the removal of both breasts.

As part of their study, the researchers assessed a variety of cancer risk factors. These factors included ethnicity, race, age, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, germline genetics, tumour stage and grade, and receptor status.

Approximately 17 individuals (2.5%) in the main study developed secondary or primary breast cancer, either in the opposite breast (contralateral) or the same breast (ipsilateral), a mean of 4.2 years after their initial diagnosis.

Within the five and ten years following diagnosis, there was a cumulative incidence of 1.5% and 2.6%, respectively, of developing a second primary cancer.

In addition, only 33 women tested positive for a genetic mutation that could be harmful.

Interestingly, women without genetic mutations were less likely to develop contralateral cancer. This can provide helpful knowledge when deciding whether to undergo surgery.

There was, however, a fourfold higher risk for those carrying germline pathogenic variants than noncarriers in this study.

The researchers also stressed the importance of genetic testing for young cancer survivors in order to ensure that they are aware of their risk of developing another breast cancer in the future.

Furthermore, the researchers suggested that further research is required to understand why women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer are more likely to develop a second primary cancer in the future.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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