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Cancer – Secondary Cancer

March 11, 2021


These are called secondary cancers. This means the first cancer was treated and then a second, new, completely different cancer forms, months or years later. I'm not talking about a recurrence of the original cancer. I'm talking about a completely separate second cancer that formed. A common example of this is that radiation therapy, which is incredibly effective at curing certain cancers, can also have a flip side of the coin. When radiation encounters normal body tissues near the organ that was cancerous, but sort of innocent bystander tissue, it can cause DNA damage that, months or years later, can cause a second cancer to form. That's one example of a second cancer. In the case of chemotherapy, certain platinum-based chemotherapy. Etoposide, the drug called mitoxantrone, are known to have the potential in a small percentage of patients of causing second cancers years later in healthy body tissues.

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