Second Cancers After Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often their greatest 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.
No matter what type of cancer you have had, it is still possible to get another (new) cancer, even after surviving the first. People who have had endometrial 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.
Survivors of endometrial cancer can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of:
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Small intestine cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Soft tissue cancer
- Acute leukemia
Colon and breast cancers are the second cancers most often seen.
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. See Second Cancers in Adults for more information about causes of second cancers.
Follow-up after endometrial cancer treatment
After completing treatment, you should still see your doctor regularly. Report any new symptoms or problems, because they could be caused by the cancer spreading or coming back, or by a new disease or second cancer.
Endometrial cancer survivors should also follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer, such as those for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer. Screening tests can find some cancers early, when they are likely to be treated more successfully. For people who have had endometrial cancer, most experts don’t recommend any additional testing to look for second cancers unless you have symptoms.
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. To help maintain good health, endometrial cancer survivors should:
- Try to get to and stay at a healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods
- Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day
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.
Last Medical Review: February 10, 2016 Last Revised: February 29, 2016