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Risk of Secondary Cancers

Risk of Secondary Cancers

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

What percent of heavily treated endometrial cancer patients (radiation and chemotherapy with carboplatin and taxotere) experience secondary cancers? At what sites?

Answer

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

Secondary malignancies may occur in the pelvis after radiation therapy, and have been cited as case reports in the medical literature due to the very careful follow up and thorough reporting of radiation morbidity by physicians and organizations.

Potential sites for second cancers include bone, rectum, and the pelvic sidewall. Most are sarcomas, but some carcinomas have been reported. These secondary malignancies are quite rare, and the risk cannot be quantified exactly by mathematical formula.

Chemotherapy with platinum and taxane compounds have not been reported in the literature to increase the risk of secondary malignancy in endometrial cancer patients.

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