Risk of other cancers after cervical cancer

Last Modified: December 8, 2002

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Is there an increased risk for other types of cancer after a diagnosis of invasive cervical cancer, and if so what types of cancer?  

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

At this point, we do not know of any cancers that are genetically linked to cervical cancer (like the genetic connection between breast and ovarian cancer in patients with mutations in the BRCA1 and 2 genes). However, after a diagnosis of cervical cancer, even if successfully treated, a patient may be at increased risk for cancer of the vagina. This type of cancer should be picked up on routine screening and follow up for cervical cancer. Also, smoking is a known risk factor for the development of cervical cancer. If a patient smokes, we can assume she is also at risk for smoking related cancers like lung cancer.