Women who’ve had breast cancer can still get other cancers, although most don’t get cancer again. Breast cancer survivors are at higher risk for getting another breast cancer, as well as some other types of cancer. Steps for staying as healthy as possible include eating right, getting regular exercise, staying away from tobacco, and getting recommended screening tests.
Breast cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.
Women who have had breast cancer can get any type of second cancer, but they have a higher risk for certain types of cancer, including:
- A second breast cancer (This is different from the first cancer coming back.)
- Salivary gland cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Colon cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Soft tissue cancer (sarcoma)
- Melanoma of the skin
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
The most common second cancer in survivors of breast cancer is another breast cancer. The new cancer can occur in the opposite breast, as well as in the same breast for women who were treated with breast-conserving surgery (such as a lumpectomy).