Testicular cancer survivors diagnosed with a second cancer had mortality rates similar to men diagnosed with a first cancer, except among some diagnosed with testicular cancer between 1973 and 1979.
Most testicular cancer patients are cured, but survivors are at a higher risk for second cancers later in life. There is little data on mortality rates of testicular cancer survivors with a second cancer.
Catherine Schairer, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues compared the number of deaths from a second cancer in testicular cancer survivors with deaths from a first cancer in patients matched by cancer type, stage, age, and year of diagnosis. Separate comparisons were made for men who were diagnosed with testicular cancer between 1973 and 1979 when higher-dose radiation therapy, which may have involved radiation to the chest, was common.
The death rates were similar for testicular cancer survivors with second cancers and the comparison group. But men treated between 1973 and 1979 who later developed cancer in the lung and several sites below the diaphragm (areas exposed during radiation treatment for testicular cancer) had poorer survival than patients whose first cancers were in the same area.
"Treatment regimens for testicular cancer used since 1980 have not adversely affected survival from subsequently diagnosed cancers," the authors write.
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