Risk Factors for Leukemia After Breast Cancer

Risk Factors for Leukemia After Breast Cancer

Leukemia after breast cancer

Cancer has many forms and some of these are curable, while for others treatments are still being devised. Breast cancer affects women mostly and even after getting treated successfully, cancer can recur in a section of affected women. The reasons are not very clear, though genetic structure is responsible to an extent. Recent studies, however indicate the possibility of treatment, type of breast cancer, leading to onset of second cancer later. To stay on the safe side, making required dietary changes after breast cancer treatment and opting for screening tests is required. Early detection can evade risk of contracting second cancer for breast cancer survivors.

Breast cancer is a menace that affects a significant number of female population all over the world and many of them fall prey to it too. With time, advancements in medical science have enabled victims of breast cancer to opt for better treatments. From radiation to alternative therapies, breast cancer victims try out many measures to bounce back to life. However, for a section of these women, a risk of recurrence of cancer in other forms exists. In fact, the instances of Leukemia after breast cancer are not insignificant, as per the available data.

Reasons Behind Women Affected by Cancer Once Facing Recurrence

There are reasons behind women developing different forms of cancer like Leukemia after breast cancer treatment:

  • Going for regular health checkups and undergoing screening tests periodically is one way to detect early signs of leukemia and other forms of cancer.

  • Women who have survived breast cancer should always evade consuming tobacco products. This includes cigarettes and other forms of chewable tobacco stuffs. Smoking can aggravate the risk factors.

  • It is also important for survivors of breast cancer to keep watch over their weight and discard sedentary lifestyle.

  • The diet is something they should be careful about. Including plant based foods is what they should focus on. The doctors should be able to guide on evading foods that may enhance the risk of recurrence of cancer.

Recent Study Findings on Prospect of Contracting Leukemia for Breast Cancer Survivors

Recent study findings on prospects of breast cancer survivors contracting leukemia have made headlines. The University of Chicago researchers think they have found out factors that may actually increase risk of Leukemia after breast cancer.

A majority of breast cancer survivors who contract leukemia, have a genetic susceptibility to the fatal disease. The study findings will throw light on reasons of genes affecting therapy-related leukemia in women. It would also be easy to figure out if specific cancer treatments can increase risk of contracting cancer again based on genetic setup. Then doctors and oncologist would be able to better determine feasible breast cancer treatment options for individual patients. However, it is not clear yet whether leukemia in breast cancer patients is related to treatment alone or not. Still, the study findings point at certain characteristics indicative of higher risk of contracting leukemia after undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for breast cancer. Certain popular cancer treatments may actually impact healthy cells along with cancerous ones, thus enhancing risk of developing leukemia later.

Summing It Up

Surviving from breast cancer is great, but that’s not end of the journey for the victims. There are reasons to believe that genetic setup and undergoing a specific type of treatment for breast cancer pave the way for onset of second cancer in a victim later. Recent study findings point at the prospect of contracting leukemia for a section of breast cancer survivors. While genetic mutation and external lifestyle factors may also play a role, the study findings cannot be overlooked either. So, breast cancer survivors should go for periodic checkups and look out for symptoms of other cancer to reduce risk of recurrence.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad