> Personal History of Breast Cancer or Other Cancers
Personal history of invasive breast cancer
Breast cancer survivors have an increased risk of getting a new breast cancer compared to those who have never had breast cancer [74-76]. A new cancer is called a second primary breast cancer. Unlike a recurrence, which is the return of the first breast cancer, a second primary tumor is a new cancer unrelated to the first.
Women treated with a lumpectomy (also called breast conserving surgery) for their first breast cancer can get a second primary cancer in either breast. Women treated with mastectomy for their first breast cancer can only get a new cancer in the other breast (except in rare cases). After either type of treatment, the risk of a second breast cancer increases over time. Close to five percent of women get a second breast cancer eight years after their initial diagnoses and about eight to 12 percent 20 to 25 years later [74-76].
Women whose first breast cancer was hormone receptor-negative may have a higher risk of a second primary breast cancer compared to those whose first breast cancer was hormone receptor-positive [77-78].
Personal history of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive breast cancer where many abnormal cells grow within the ducts of the breast (see the structure of the breast). DCIS can progress to invasive cancer. Left untreated, about 20 to 30 percent of low grade DCIS will progress to invasive breast cancer . Higher grade DCIS may be more likely to turn into invasive cancer if left untreated.
At this time, health care providers cannot predict which cases of DCIS will progress to invasive breast cancer and which will not. Because DCIS might turn into invasive breast cancer, every case of DCIS is treated. Surgery may be followed by radiation therapy and hormone therapy. Learn more about treatment for DCIS.
DCIS survivors have an increased risk of invasive cancer in either breast, as well as an increased risk of DCIS in the opposite breast [79-81]. Learn more about DCIS and the risk of invasive breast cancer.
Learn more about DCIS.
Personal history of Hodgkin’s disease or other cancers
A personal history of certain other cancers can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Women who had Hodgkin's disease in childhood or early adulthood are about 15 to 25 times more likely to get breast cancer than women who never had Hodgkin's disease [57,59,82-83]. This risk appears to be greater among women treated with radiation therapy for their Hodgkin's compared to those treated with chemotherapy alone [59,82]. There is also some evidence that Hodgkin's disease itself may be related to breast cancer risk . Women who were treated for Hodgkin's at later ages (even with radiation) do not appear to have an increased risk of breast cancer .
Women who have had ovarian cancer appear to have an increased risk of breast cancer . This is likely related to genetic factors. Women who have an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have an increased risk of both breast and ovarian cancer [5,30].
Other cancers have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. These include [84-85]:
- Uterine cancer
- Colon cancer
- Thyroid cancer
The exact reasons for these links aren't known, though they are likely related to some shared genetic factors [84-85].
Learn about inherited gene mutations.