• 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?

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 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.

      over 1 year 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.

      over 1 year ago
    • Coloman's Avatar

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

      over 1 year 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."

      over 1 year 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)

      over 1 year 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.

      over 1 year ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Greg, I hope that door knock does not happen.

      over 1 year ago
    • car092360's Avatar

      I was treated for breast cancer in 2011 and diagnosed with Leukemia in 2018 which was a result of one of the chemo drugs they used for my breast cancer. But any of the treatments you receive can potentially cause secondary cancers.

      Don't live your life waiting around for something to happen...live your best life and if something happens later, then deal it with it then. “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

      BTW...I'm 9 mths from receiving a bone marrow transplant and I'm doing great!

      over 1 year ago

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