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Second Primary Cancer

Glossary

second primary cancer

A term used to describe a new primary cancer that occurs in a person who has had cancer in the past. Second primary cancers may occur months or years after the original (primary) cancer was diagnosed and treated. Certain types of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may increase the risk of a second primary cancer. Having certain inherited gene mutations (changes) and being exposed to certain cancer-causing substances, such as tobacco smoke, may also increase the risk of a second primary cancer.

Last updated: 2016-10-26

Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)