High Rate of Secondary Malignancies Suggests Need for Additional CA Screening

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Research found a high rate of unrelated lung cancer in patients with previous bladder cancer
Research found a high rate of unrelated lung cancer in patients with previous bladder cancer

HealthDay News — A new study indicates that 8% of patients – or 1 in 12 – already diagnosed with one form of cancer will develop a second unrelated malignancy. The findings were published online July 5 in Cancer.

The study included more than 2 million people diagnosed with cancer. Patients in the study were initially diagnosed with cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, rectum, bladder, uterus, or kidney or melanoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Of those who developed a second cancer, only 13% died of their initial cancer, while 55% died of their second primary malignancy.

The team found that patients diagnosed with bladder cancer were the most at risk for developing a second malignancy. Thirty-four percent of bladder cancer patients were diagnosed with a second cancer during the 20-year study. Of those second cancers, 25% were lung cancer cases. People initially diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma also faced a particularly high risk for a second cancer. The most common second cancers for these patients were lung, prostate, or breast cancers.

"Lung cancer is a very common and extremely lethal disease, and the national screening trial found [in 2011] CT scans actually saved lives," study author Karim Chamie, MD, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, said in a news release. "We could make a significant improvement in cancer survivorship, for instance, if we monitored bladder cancer patients annually for second, unrelated lung cancers," he added.

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