Second malignancies after radiation treatment and chemotherapy for primary cancers
Cancer survivors have been shown to have an increased risk for second malignant neoplasms (SMN). These increased risks result from genetic predisposition, harmful environmental exposures, or cancer treatment therapies. Regardless of their cause, SMNs now comprise the sixth most common group of malignancies after skin, prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers.1 It is important to emphasize that the fear of SMN related to the treatment of the first cancer diagnosis should not outweigh the positive effects of curative therapy for the first cancer. Both physicians and patients should, however, be aware of the consequences of the cancer treatment regimens, specifically radiation therapy (RT) and chemotherapy, and consider them while devising follow-up plans. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
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