Gastrointestinal carcinomas occurring in breast cancer patients

Itzhak Pappo*, Varda Stahl-Kent, Judith Sandbank, Tami Karni, Ilan Wasserman, Ariel Halevy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breast cancer patients are reported to have a higher rate of second primary malignancies. We retrospectively reviewed the coexistence of breast and gastrointestinal (GI) tumors in the same patients and the characteristics of the tumors. The charts of all patients more than 35 years of age who were diagnosed with breast cancer and hospitalized for various reasons between 1985 and 2003 were reviewed and those who also had a diagnosis of GI malignancy were then selected. Age and tumor characteristics were evaluated. Out of all the patients, 2650 had a diagnosis of breast cancer, while 40 (1.5%) also had GI malignancies. Among a comparable group of 70,784 consecutive female patients without breast cancer, 1292 patients (1.8%) had a diagnosis of GI malignancy. The location of GI tumors in patients with both tumors was as follows: stomach, 6 (15%); right colon, 8 (20%); left colon, 7 (17.5%); sigma, 9 (22.5%); and rectum, 10 (25%). Seventeen of the patients (51.5%) had Dukes C and D tumors, 14 (42.5%) Dukes B, and 2 (6%) Dukes A or in situ. The stage of the others was not identified. The mean age at diagnosis of breast cancer was 68.5 years (range 48-88 years). In 23 (57.5%), GI cancer was diagnosed after breast cancer, in 7 (17.5%) it was diagnosed within 3 months of diagnosing breast cancer, and in 8 (20%) it was diagnosed prior to the diagnosis of breast cancer. Five patients suffered from an additional primary cancer: three endometrial, one lung, one esophageal, and one patient had two additional tumors in the endometrium and thyroid. We conclude that the rate of GI malignancies in breast cancer patients is slightly lower than in comparable patients without breast cancer. GI malignancies tend to be diagnosed later and are found more often in the distal colon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged patients
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Stomach


Dive into the research topics of 'Gastrointestinal carcinomas occurring in breast cancer patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this