Medical Q&As

Cervical cancer - risk of other cancer?

I am 40 years old and was diagnosed with cancer of the cervix 18 months ago. I subsequently underwent a radical hysterectomy. Am I now any more likely to get any other form of cancer having had the cervical cancer?

The fact that you have been treated for cancer does not render you more likely to suffer from other forms of cancer in the future. It is unusual for a person to develop cancer within two different organ systems within the body. A cancer may spread from its primary source of origin and cause a secondary growth in other organs such as happens with bowel tumours spreading to the liver. But it would be most unusual for a primary tumour to develop in the bowel for example and also for that person to develop a tumour in the kidney. When cancer develops in different sites in the body it is usually because cancerous cells have spread from the primary source of origin. There are some people who have inherited conditions that render them liable to develop several primary tumours in different organ systems but this is not a common occurrence and does not apply to carcinoma of the cervix. There is one important caveat in relation to all of the preceding points and that is that if you happen to be a smoker you are increasing your chances of developing any one of a wide variety of cancers. Having been successfully treated for one form of cancer it would be unfortunate to develop another because of smoking.