Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Non-Melanoma Skin Neoplasia May Hike Risk of Death from Other Malignancies

Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Non-Melanoma Skin Neoplasia May Hike Risk of Death from Other Malignancies

Article excerpt

For reasons that investigator do not yet understand, having non-melanoma skin cancer may increase a patient's risk of dying from other types of malignancies, researchers reported.

A 12-year study of nearly 1.1 million adults found that the rate of cancer deaths was 20% to 30% higher among those who had a history of non-melanoma skin cancer.

The rate was 30% higher for men and 26% higher for women, according to the study's author, Henry S. Kahn, M.D., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.

Furthermore, the cancer death rate did not significantly drop when researchers excluded deaths from melanoma, according to the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1998;280:910-912).

The study confirms the findings of previous European studies, but the reasons for the increased risk are unclear, Dr. Kahn noted. He speculated that exposure to the sun's ultra-violet rays also may affect the development of other cancers. Several other factors could also be to blame, including exposure to radiation treatment, diet in early life and some underlying genetic factor that my increase susceptibility, her reported.

The study findings should make physicians more aware of the risk of other types of cancer when treating patients with skin cancer, Dr. Kahn said.

In particular, when a patient presents with non-melanoma skin cancer, a physician should examine the patient's entire body for signs of melanoma, advised Kenneth H. …

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