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Cancer risk higher in lymphoma survivors

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, May 10 (Reuters) Survivors of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) face a 30 per cent increased risk of a second malignancy, a new study from the UK shows.

The study, which included 2,456 NHL patients treated between 1973 and 2000, found that most of the risk was due to leukemia or lung cancer.

There is relatively little information about the long-term risk of second cancers in NHL patients, Dr Nadejda Y Mudie of the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, Surrey and colleagues note.

To investigate, they looked at patients treated at centres participating in the British National Lymphoma Investigation.

All of the subjects were younger than 60 years old at first treatment.

A total of 123 second malignancies occurred over an average of 7.7 years follow-up, for a 15-year cumulative probability of a second cancer of 11 per cent, the researchers found. The risk was greater for men, among whom the 15-year probability was 14 per cent, compared with 9 per cent for women.

Survivors had an 8.8-fold increased risk of leukemia and a 1.6-fold risk of lung cancer, according to the report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The older the patient was at first treatment, the higher the risk of subsequent malignancy, with 15-year incidence of 17 per cent for patients treated at age 50 or older, compared with 7 per cent for patients treated at a younger age.

Women showed a reduced risk of breast cancer compared with the general population, possibly because NHL treatment induced premature menopause, Mudie and her team note.


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