(HealthDay News) — The likelihood of developing breast or thyroid cancer as a secondary malignancy is increased following diagnosis of the other cancer, according to a review published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Sarah M. Nielsen, from the University of Chicago, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to identify all publications examining the incidence of breast cancer as a secondary malignancy following thyroid cancer diagnosis, or thyroid cancer following breast cancer diagnosis. Nineteen unique cohorts of breast cancer patients and 18 of thyroid cancer patients were identified.

Data were analyzed for 956,672 breast cancer patients and 611 secondary thyroid cancers, and for 44,879 thyroid cancer patients and 5,791 secondary breast cancers. The researchers found that the risk of thyroid cancer as a secondary malignancy following breast cancer was increased (odds ratio, 1.55). Furthermore, the risk of breast cancer following thyroid cancer was increased (odds ratio, 1.18).

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“The importance of the relationship between breast and thyroid cancer will continue to become evident as the incidence of thyroid cancers continues to rise and the treatments for both cancers continue to improve,” the authors write.

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