Can I Get Another Cancer After Having Male Breast Cancer?
Cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often their greatest concern is facing cancer again. If a cancer comes back after treatment it is called a “recurrence.” But some cancer survivors may develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a “second cancer.” No matter what type of cancer you have had, it is still possible to get another (new) cancer, even after surviving the first.
Unfortunately, being treated for cancer doesn’t mean you can’t get another cancer. People who have had cancer can still get the same types of cancers that other people get. In fact, certain types of cancer and cancer treatments can be linked to a higher risk of certain second cancers.
Men who have had breast cancer can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of:
- A second breast cancer (this is different than the first cancer coming back)
- Small intestine cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Basal and squamous cell skin cancer
- Myeloid leukemia
For some second cancers, shared genetic risk factors may play a role. For example, men with mutations in the BRCA2 gene have an increased risk of prostate and pancreas cancer as well as breast cancer.
After completing treatment for breast cancer, you should still see your doctor regularly to look for signs the cancer has come back or spread. Experts do not recommend any specific tests to look for second cancers in patients without symptoms. Let your doctor know about any new symptoms or problems, because they could be caused by the cancer coming back or by a new disease or second cancer.
Survivors of breast cancer should follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer and stay away from tobacco products. Smoking increases the risk of many cancers.
To help maintain good health, survivors should also:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Adopt a physically active lifestyle
- Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods
- Limit consumption of alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per day
These steps may also lower the risk of some cancers.
See Second Cancers in Adults for more information about causes of second cancers.
Last Medical Review: October 10, 2014 Last Revised: January 26, 2016
- What Happens After Treatment for Breast Cancer in Men?
- Seeing a New Doctor After Treatment for Breast Cancer in Men
- Can I Get Another Cancer After Having Male Breast Cancer?
- Lifestyle Changes for Men After Treatment of Breast Cancer
- How Does Having Breast Cancer Affect a Man’s Emotional Health?
- If Treatment for Breast Cancer in Men Stops Working