What is known?
Colorectal (bowel) cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the world and the third most deadly.
However, the expanding population of colorectal survivors face long-term health concerns, such as the increased risk of developing a second primary cancers (different to colorectal cancer).
What is new?
New findings suggest that patients with colorectal cancer have an increased risk of developing other types of cancers (second primary cancers) compared with the general population.
The greatest risk for second primary cancer is developing cancer of the small intestine, where the risk was more than four times compared with the general population.
The risk for developing other types of secondary cancers (listed above) was less than double compared with the general population.
What does this mean?
There is a need for further studies to monitor the ongoing risk of second primary cancers in patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
New observation and management strategies are also needed to decrease the burden of these subsequent cancers for this expanding number of the population.
Contact: Professor Peter Baade
Reference: Robertson D, Ng SK, Baade PD, Lam AK. Risk of extracolonic second primary cancers following a primary colorectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Colorectal Disease. 2022; 37(3):541-551.