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With advancements in cancer treatments, the survival rates of patients with their first primary cancer (FPC) have increased, resulting in a rise in the number of patients with second primary cancer (SPC). However, there has been no assessment on the incidence of suicide among patients with SPC. This study assessed the occurrence of suicide among patients with SPC and compared them with that in patients with FPC.
This was a retrospective, population-based cohort study that followed patients with FPC and SPC diagnosed from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) 17 registries database between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2019.
For patients with SPC, an age of 85+ years at diagnosis was associated with a higher incidence of suicide death (HR, 1.727; 95% CI, 1.075–2.774), while the suicide death was not considerably different in the chemotherapy group (P > 0.05). Female genital system cancers (HR, 3.042; 95% CI, 1.819–6.361) accounted for the highest suicide death among patients with SPC. The suicide death distribution of patients with SPC over time indicated that suicide events mainly occurred within 5 to 15 years of diagnosis. Compared with patients with FPC, patients with SPC in general had a lower risk of suicide, but increased year by year.
The risk of suicide was reduced in patients with SPC compared with patients with FPC, but increased year by year. Therefore, oncologists and related health professionals need to provide continuous psychological support to reduce the incidence of suicide. The highest suicide death was found among patients with female genital system cancer.
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