The relative risk of second primary cancers in Queensland, Australia: a retrospective cohort study
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Background Cancer survivors face an increased likelihood of being subsequently diagnosed with another cancer. The aim of this study was to quantify the relative risk of survivors developing a second primary cancer in Queensland, Australia. Methods Standardised incidence rates stratified by type of first primary cancer, type of second primary cancer, sex, age at first diagnosis, period of first diagnosis and follow-up interval were calculated for residents of Queensland, Australia, who were diagnosed with a first primary invasive cancer between 1982 and 2001 and survived for a minimum of 2 months. Results A total of 23,580 second invasive primary cancers were observed over 1,370,247 years of follow-up among 204,962 cancer patients. Both males (SIR = 1.22; 95% CI = 1.20-1.24) and females (SIR = 1.36; 95% CI = 1.33-1.39) within the study cohort were found to have a significant excess risk of developing a second cancer relative to the incidence of cancer in the general population. The observed number of second primary cancers was also higher than expected within each age group, across all time periods and during each follow-up interval. Conclusions The excess risk of developing a second malignancy among cancer survivors can likely be attributed to factors including similar aetiologies, genetics and the effects of treatment, underlining the need for ongoing monitoring of cancer patients to detect subsequent tumours at an early stage. Education campaigns developed specifically for survivors may be required to lessen the prevalence of known cancer risk factors.
© 2011 Youlden and Baade; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified