From the August 15, 2002 issue of the Journal of Clinical OncologyFor most patients with Hodgkin's disease, very effective therapies offer the promise of long-term survival or cure. But scientists know that survivors of Hodgkin's disease may be at increased risk for other cancers later in life. These "second cancers" are partly related to the long-term effects of the Hodgkin's disease treatment.Until recently, little research has been done to find out the level of risk for second cancers. Now, a major study has provided new information that may help Hodgkin's patients and their doctors understand long-term cancer risks. Led by the National Cancer Institute, researchers examined records from over 30,000 Hodgkin's disease patients in six countries, making this study the largest of its kind. The researchers found that survivors of Hodgkin's disease had double the normal risk of developing another cancer later in their lives. Another finding of the study was that the risk of second cancers appeared to decrease in patients who lived 25 years or more beyond Hodgkin's treatment. However, the researchers cautioned that further studies are needed to confirm this finding. According to Dr. Grata M. Dores at the National Cancer Institute, this study adds important new information about the risk of second cancers for Hodgkin's disease survivors. Patients who have been treated for Hodgkin's disease should speak with their doctors about these risks. However, Dr. Dores also pointed out that today's treatments for Hodgkin's disease are very effective, and stressed that their benefits far outweigh the risk of second cancers.