Ann Cancer Epidemiol. 2021 Mar;5:2. doi: 10.21037/ace-19-40. Epub 2021 Mar 30.
BACKGROUND: There is a projected rapid increase in cancer survivors in the US population, from 15.5 million in 2016 to 26.1 million by 2040. Improvements in treatment and detection have led to increased survival, however, there is now a risk of developing new cancers as a result of environment toxins, behavioral risk factors, genetic predisposition, and late-term effects of radiation and chemotherapeutic treatments. This study takes a geospatial approach to examining the place of occurrence of multiple cancers originating in the population of four screenable cancers-female breast, colorectal, prostate, and cervical cancers-among the US population.
METHODS: During 2004-2014, 6,523,532 primary cancer patients with one of these four screenable cancers were examined, and subsequent primary cancers (multiple cancers of any type) were noted. Individual level analyses estimated the odds of diagnosis with multiple cancers controlling for age, sex, and race-ethnicity. Change in effects on odds of multiple cancer diagnoses with age, sex, and race-ethnicity were evaluated controlling separately for late-stage diagnosis of the primary cancer or each primary cancer diagnosis type. County-level spatial cluster analysis was employed to identify and visualize higher than average multiple cancer rates.
RESULTS: Over half of the study population were female and almost 30% of the study population were diagnosed at late-stage for their first cancer. Multiple occurrences of all cancers increased during the time period for patients with initial breast or colorectal cancers. Among BC primary cancer cases, subsequent multiple cancers were mostly new breast cancers. By contrast, for CRC primary cancer cases, subsequent multiple cancers were about equally likely to be new CRC cases or other cancer types. Sex, age and race-ethnicity were all significantly associated with multiple cancers. In the model controlling for CRC as the primary type, the age and race-ethnicity effects were somewhat different than for all the other models. Thus, there was something distinctly different about the multiple cancer incidence among patients with CRC as their primary cancer as compared to patients with BC, CVC, or PC primaries. In subsequent analyses by county, there were distinct geospatial patterns in multiple cancer rates with most high-rate clusters occurring in the north- and mid-west US.
CONCLUSIONS: There were distinct individual level and geospatial disparities in multiple cancer diagnoses for the study population of all primary breast, colorectal, cervical, or prostate cancer patients during the decade studied. It is importance to emphasize continued screening for cancer survivors and research on personal and environmental drivers of multiple primary cancers.