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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's 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 soft tissue sarcoma can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of these cancers, depending on where the tumor was and the type of treatment used:
A second soft-tissue sarcoma (this is different than the first one coming back)
Some second bone cancers may be due to treatment with radiation therapy. Radiation and chemotherapy likely contribute to the cases of leukemia.
Follow-up after treatment
After treatment for soft tissue sarcoma, you should still see your doctor regularly. Tests will be done to look for signs the cancer has come back or spread. But experts do not recommend any additional testing to look for second cancers in patients without symptoms. Let your doctor know about any new symptoms or problems, because they could be caused by the cancer coming back, by a new disease, or by a second cancer.
The Children’s Oncology Group has guidelines for the follow-up of patients treated for cancer as a child, teen, or young adult, including screening for second cancers. These can be found at www.survivorshipguidelines.org.
All survivors of soft tissue sarcoma should avoid tobacco smoke, as smoking increases the risk of many cancers, as well as other health problems.
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.
Rock CL, Thomson C, Gansler T, et al. American Cancer Society guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2020;70(4). doi:10.3322/caac.21591. Accessed at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21591 on June 9, 2020.
Last Revised: June 9, 2020
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