Second primary cancers in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the skin: a population-based study in Sweden

Int J Cancer. 1999 Feb 9;80(4):511-5. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19990209)80:4<511::aid-ijc5>;2-p.


We studied second primary cancer among 25,947 patients diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the skin (SCC) in Sweden between 1958 and 1992. In total, 5,706 patients developed a second primary cancer at any site, compared with an expected number of 2,651 [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 2.15; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.10-2.21]. Men below 60 years of age at diagnosis of SCC had higher SIR (2.5; CI = 2.2-2.8) with the highest risk during the first year of follow-up (SIR = 9.2; CI = 6.9-12.2). If second primary SCC was excluded, the SIR was reduced to 1.30 (CI = 1.25-1.34); the relationships by sex, age and time since diagnosis remained similar. For skin cancer, the SIR for second SCC was markedly elevated (SIR = 15.6) and the risk of malignant melanoma was elevated 3-fold. Significantly increased risks were found for most second cancers in squamous cell epithelium: lip (SIR = 5.2), respiratory organs (SIR = 1.7), esophagus (SIR = 1.5), cervix uteri (SIR = 2.2), and vulva including vagina (SIR = 2.3). There was a generally increased risk of almost 2-fold for second cancer in hematopoietic or lymphoproliferative tissues. Slightly increased rates (SIR = 1.0-1.5) were seen for second tumors in digestive tissues. Finally, a high SIR (SIR = 5.5) was observed for second primary cancer in salivary glands. In conclusion, patients with SCC are at increased risk to develop new primary cancer, especially in skin, squamous cell epithelial and tobacco-related tissues. Common risk factors among the tumor types might explain our findings, however, an intrinsic susceptibility among SCC patients to develop cancer is also possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology