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:
Patients with multiple myeloma need to see their doctors regularly. Treatment often doesn’t cure this cancer, but can cause it to regress or go away for a time. 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.
There are steps you can take to lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible. For example, multiple myeloma survivors should do their best to stay away from all tobacco products and tobacco smoke, as smoking increases the risk of many cancers.
To help maintain good health, multiple myeloma 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.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Mailankody S, Pfeiffer RM, Kristinsson SY, et al. Risk of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes after multiple myeloma and its precursor disease (MGUS). Blood. 2011;118(15):4086-4092.
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Thomas A, Mailankody S, Korde N, Kristinsson SY, Turesson I, Landgren O. Second malignancies after multiple myeloma: from 1960s to 2010s. Blood. 2012;119(12):2731-2737.
Last Revised: June 9, 2020
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