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Researchers followed women who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and underwent breast-conserving therapy, which consists of a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy.
Fifteen years after treatment, the overall risk of developing a new, second cancer was 25% in the 796 smokers and 19% in nonsmokers. The risk of developing cancer in the breast that hadn't been treated for cancer was 13% for smokers and 8% in nonsmokers.
"These new data are significant in that they show women can exercise some control over a known risk factor for developing a new second cancer," senior investigator Dr. Bruce G. Haffty, associate director of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, said in a news release.
The study was to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Radium Society, May 1 to 5 in Cancun, Mexico.
-- Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: Cancer Institute of New Jersey, news release, May 2, 2010