Multiple primary cancers of separate organ sites: Implications for research and cancer control (Australia)

Adrian Heard, David Roder, Colin Luke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify cancers which occur as second primaries following the diagnosis of cancers of other sites, as a basis for formulating causal hypotheses and planning medical surveillance. Methods: Analyses of fifteen common cancer sites were undertaken to examine the occurrence of multiple primaries. These cancers were notified to the South Australian Cancer Registry during 1977-2001. Historic cohort models were used where standardised incidence ratios (95% confidence limits) were calculated to indicate the risk of second primary cancers. Results: New associations detected included an increased risk of cancers of the bladder, colon, rectum, kidney and melanomas following a diagnosis of prostate cancer and an increased risk of leukaemia following both lung and rectal cancer. Many previously identified combinations of multiple primaries were confirmed. Conclusions: From the wide range of associations identified, some such as leukaemias occurring as second primaries after the diagnosis of ovarian cancers and lymphomas may be a treatment effect. The diagnosis of multiple primary cancers in the same month (e.g. bladder-prostate cancers and ovarian-uterine cancers) may reflect patterns of medical testing and the long preclinical phases of some cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Multiple primaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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