• I've heard that after you've been treated for one type of cancer you're more susceptible to another cancer later.

    Asked by Coloman on Monday, October 21, 2019

    I've heard that after you've been treated for one type of cancer you're more susceptible to another cancer later.

    Is this true or a myth? What type of cancer would I be more susceptible to after being treated for colon cancer?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Standard chemotherapy can force alterations in cellular DNA which are intended to cause the death of the cancer cells. However, any drug which alters DNA also carries the potential to cause cancer via unwanted alterations to the DNA of healthy cells, making them cancerous.

      This has been greatly reduced with the introduction of biological drugs which do not alter DNA. They either block or re-establish communication between cells with the same intent: death of the malignant cells.

      Ironically, there is a drug used to treat various cancers which can cause, IIRC, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). And the treatment for CLL is...that same drug! An odd world we live in.

      25 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I was told this 32 years ago. I was told that while being treated for Hodgkins that I would be susceptible to leukemia later in life. I'm still waiting for that door knock.

      25 days ago
    • Coloman's Avatar

      Thanks for your feedback, I will just try to not worry about what "could" happen and deal with today.

      24 days ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      From the dark side: British economist John Maynard Keynes emphasized short term goals and strategies in making economic decisions. When asked about the long terms effects, he replied "In the long run, we are all dead."

      24 days ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I know quite a few people with lung cancer who have other cancers, too. I think it is just bad luck (or bad genes)

      24 days ago
    • booboo's Avatar

      Fifteen years ago I was successfully treated for Stage IIIC rectal cancer. After so much time passed, I had put my cancer fears behind me. Imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The treatment is much less drastic, however this cancer is aggressive and I am currently treating for my first recurrence. Is this related? I will never know for sure, I am just thankful that this is a new primary tumor and not mets from the old enemy.

      23 days ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Greg, I hope that door knock does not happen.

      20 days ago

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