A new study has reported that survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma are far more likely than the general population to develop both hormone receptor positive and hormone receptor negative breast cancer. The study was designed to investigate the associations between breast cancer and radiation treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma at a young age. It is unknown whether breast cancer characteristics among young women treated with radiation for Hodgkin's lymphoma differ from breast cancer occurring in the general population among those without a family history of the disease. In the study, the authors calculated breast cancer risk following Hodgkin's lymphoma according to type of tumor using population-based data.

The risk of estrogen receptor positive/progesterone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) breast cancer among young women who previously had been irradiated to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma was found to be five times higher than the risk of breast cancer in the general population. The risk of ER-/PR- breast cancer among the Hodgkin's lymphoma group was found to be nines times higher. Among 15-year Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors, relative risk of ER-/PR- breast cancer was more than double the risk of ER+/ER+ breast cancer. The authors conclude that radiotherapy may disproportionately contribute to the development of breast cancer with adverse prognostic features among young Hodgkin's lymphoma survivors.

Please see our article on protecting our teenage and young adult daughters from breast cancer for more information on breast cancer risk factors in the young.