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||Multiple primary cancers in Connecticut, 1935-82.
||Boice JD Jr, Curtis RE, Kleinerman RA, Flannery JT, Fraumeni JF Jr
||Yale J Biol Med
||Recently, the National Cancer Institute published a comprehensive monograph on multiple primary cancers in Connecticut and Denmark. This paper summarizes some of the observations made on the Connecticut population. Data compiled by the Connecticut Tumor Registry have extended our knowledge about the patterns of multiple primary cancers, especially among long-term survivors of cancer and among patients with relatively rare tumors about which little information currently exists. When compared with the general Connecticut population, cancer patients had a 31 percent (RR = 1.31) increased risk of developing a second cancer and a 23 percent (RR = 1.23) elevated risk of second cancer at a different site from the first. Common environmental exposures seemed responsible for the excess occurrence of many second cancers, particularly those related to cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, or both. For example, persons with epithelial cancers of the lung, larynx, esophagus, buccal cavity, and pharynx were particularly prone to develop new cancers in the same or contiguous tissue throughout their lifetimes. Cancers of the colon, uterine corpus, breast, and ovary frequently occurred together, suggesting underlying hormonal or dietary influences. Only patients with prostate cancer were at significantly low risk for second cancer development; this might be an artifact of case finding, since advanced age at initial diagnosis was generally associated with an underascertainment of second cancers. Radiotherapy may have caused rectal and other cancer among patients with cancers of the female genital tract, and leukemia among patients with uterine corpus cancer. Chemotherapy with alkylating agents probably contributed to the excess of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia following multiple myeloma or cancers of the breast and ovary. Genetic susceptibility seemed to explain some tumor complexes, such as the multiple occurrences of cutaneous melanoma and the excess of bone cancer following retinoblastoma. Research into multiple cancer syndromes should enhance our understanding of carcinogenic factors and mechanisms and the development of strategies for cancer prevention and control.