About Breast Cancer>Side effects > Secondary cancers

Secondary cancers


In very rare cases, part of your breast cancer treatment can cause you to get a different cancer in a different part of your body, usually many years later. This is called a secondary cancer.

Secondary cancers are very rare, and your doctors will help make sure the risk of a secondary cancer is much smaller than the benefit of your breast cancer treatment. Still, it’s reasonable to have concerns about secondary cancers. Talk with your providers about any questions or concerns so they can help you understand the level of risk.

What causes secondary cancers?

Some breast cancer treatments that can increase your risk of a secondary cancer are:



Reviewed and updated: November 22, 2019

Reviewed by: Christina Brus MD


Was this page helpful?

Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to create a world that understands there is more than one way to have breast cancer. To fulfill its mission of providing trusted information and a community of support to those impacted by the disease, Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers on-demand emotional, practical, and evidence-based content. For over 30 years, the organization has remained committed to creating a culture of acceptance — where sharing the diversity of the lived experience of breast cancer fosters self-advocacy and hope. For more information, learn more about our programs and services.