Can I Get Another Cancer After Having Multiple Myeloma?
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.
Survivors of multiple myeloma can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of:
- Kaposi sarcoma
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
Patients with multiple myeloma need to see their doctors regularly. Treatment doesn’t cure this cancer, but can cause it to regress or go away for a time. Then, if the cancer comes back or worsens, treatment may begin again. Let your doctor know about any new symptoms or problems, because they could be caused by the myeloma or by a new disease or second cancer.
All people with multiple myeloma should avoid tobacco smoke, as 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 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men
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: May 22, 2014 Last Revised: January 19, 2016