Fear of getting a different cancer

Some survivors worry about developing a different type of cancer. While this is not common, some people develop a second cancer that may not be related to the first cancer.

See Managing the fear of recurrence for some tips that may help you deal with the fear of developing a different cancer.

The following factors may increase your risk of developing another type of cancer:

  • exposure to cigarette smoke or other cancer-causing agents
  • skin damage caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources such as solariums
  • ageing
  • being born with an inherited gene that increases the chance of developing some cancers (about 5% of cancers)
  • having some forms of cancer treatment, particularly as a child
  • lifestyle factors such as smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight, and not getting enough

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about any risk factors. See Taking control of your health for ways to reduce your cancer risk.

    — Jane

This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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