Data from the Cancer Registry of Slovenia were used in a cohort study to determine whether the incidence of second primary cancers in patients with first primary breast cancer differs from the incidence expected in the general population. Special interest was given to long-term survivors. The expected numbers of second primary cancers were calculated by multiplying the number of appropriate person-years at risk by the corresponding age- and calendar-period-specific cancer incidence rates for women in Slovenia. The risk of a second primary cancer was expressed as the standardized incidence ratio (SIR). Of the 8,917 patients newly diagnosed in the period 1961-85 and followed-up to the end of 1994, 547 (6.2 percent) developed second primary cancers, whereas 410 (4.7 percent) were expected (SIR = 1.3, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-1.4). The risk was higher among younger patients. In long-term survivors, the risk was increased significantly for second primary cancer of the breast (SIR = 1.4, CI = 1.1-1.7), lung cancer (SIR = 1.6, CI = 1.1-2.3), melanoma (SIR = 2.7, CI = 1.5-4.4) and non-melanoma skin cancers(SIR = 2.0, CI = 1.6-2.4), corpus uteri cancer(SIR = 1.6, CI = 1.2-2.1), ovarian cancer(SIR = 2.3, CI = 1.7-3.0), and thyroid cancer (SIR = 2.5, CI = 1.2-4.6). Our results confirm the findings of several cohort studies carried out in Europe, the United States, and Japan, indicating that breast cancer patients should be monitored carefully for the occurrence of second primary cancers.