Skip to content

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Adult Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment Option Overview


An increase in second solid tumors has also been observed, especially cancers of the lung, breast, thyroid, bone/soft tissue, stomach, esophagus, colon and rectum, uterine cervix, head and neck, and mesothelioma.[7,11,12,13,14,15,16] These tumors occur primarily after radiation therapy or with combined modality treatment, and approximately 75% occur within radiation ports. At a 15-year follow-up, the risk of second solid tumors is approximately 13%;[7,12] at a 20-year follow-up, the risk is approximately 17%;[17] and at a 25-year follow-up, the risk is approximately 22%.[11,18] In a cohort of 18,862 5-year survivors from 13 population-based registries, the younger patients had elevated risks for breast, colon, and rectal cancer for 10 to 25 years before the age when routine screening would be recommended in the general population.[16] Even with involved-field doses of 15 Gy to 25 Gy, sarcomas, breast cancers, and thyroid cancers occurred with similar incidence in young patients receiving higher-dose radiation.[17]

Lung cancer is seen with increased frequency, even after chemotherapy alone, and the risk of this cancer is increased with cigarette smoking.[19,20,21,22] In a retrospective Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) analysis, stage-specific survival was decreased by 30% to 60% in HL survivors compared with patients with de novo non-small cell lung cancer.[23] Breast cancer is seen with increased frequency after radiation therapy or combined modality therapy.[11,13,15,24,25,26,27] The risk appears greatest for women treated with radiation before age 30 years, and the incidence increases substantially after 15 years of follow-up.[11,14,28,29,30] In two case control studies of 479 patients who developed breast cancer after therapy for HL, cumulative absolute risks for developing breast cancer were calculated as a function of radiation therapy dose and the use of chemotherapy.[31,32] With a 30-year to 40-year follow-up, cumulative absolute risks of breast cancer with exposure to radiation range from 8.5% to 39.6%, depending on the age at diagnosis. A family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer does not confer a greater increased risk than that of radiation therapy for one of these cohorts.[33] These cohort studies show a continued increase in cumulative excess risk of breast cancer beyond 20 years of follow-up.[31,32]

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas