Can I Get Another Cancer After Having Esophagus Cancer?

Cancer survivors can be affected by many 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 specific second cancers.

Survivors of esophagus cancer can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of:

Men who were treated for esophagus cancer also have an increased risk of stomach cancer.

The most common risk factors for cancer of the esophagus are smoking and alcohol intake, which are also linked to many of these cancers.

For people who have had esophageal cancer, most experts don’t recommend any additional testing to look for second cancers unless you have symptoms.

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

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.

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National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Esophageal Cancer Treatment. 2017. Accessed at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/esophageal/HealthProfessional on May 6, 2017.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Esophageal and Esophagogastric Junction Cancers. V.1.2017. Accessed at www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/esophageal.pdf on May 6, 2017.

Posner MC, Minsky B, Ilson DH. Ch 45 - Cancer of the esophagus. In: DeVita VT, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Williams & Wilkins; 2015.

Last Medical Review: June 14, 2017 Last Revised: June 14, 2017

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