Can I Get Another Cancer After Having Cervical Cancer?

Cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors may develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.

Unfortunately, being treated for cervical cancer doesn’t mean you can’t get another cancer. Women who have had cervical cancer can still get the same types of cancers that other women get. In fact, they might be at higher risk for certain types of cancer, including:

Many of these cancers are linked to smoking and/or infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), which are also strongly linked to cervical cancer.

The increased risks of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and cancers of the rectum, bladder, and soft tissue seem to be linked to treatment with radiation.

Can I lower my risk of getting a second cancer?

There are steps you can take to lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible. For example, women who have had cervical cancer should do their best to stay away from tobacco products. Smoking might further increase the risk of some of the second cancers that are more common after cervical cancer.

To help maintain good health, cervical cancer survivors should also:

These steps may also lower the risk of some other health problems.

See Second Cancers in Adults for more information about causes of second cancers.

Getting emotional support

Some amount of feeling depressed, anxious, or worried is normal when cervical cancer is a part of your life. Some women are affected more than others. But everyone can benefit from help and support from other people, whether friends and family, religious groups, support groups, professional counselors, or others. Learn more in Coping With  Cancer.

 

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: November 16, 2016 Last Revised: December 5, 2016

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