Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Might Increase the Risk of Other Cancers

White people having kinds of skin cancer apart from melanoma could be at increased risk in the future of getting other types of cancer. Researchers discovered that women and men having a non-melanoma skin cancer history, the commonest type of cancer in the US and includes squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, had a 26% and 15% increased risk, respectively, of getting another type of cancer in comparison to individuals who had no such history.[1]

These conclusions were reached by analyzing information from 2 large US group studies, the Nurses’ Health Study, which involved 121,700 female nurses, and the Health Professionals Study, which involved 51,529 male health care professionals.

In white individuals, 36,102 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer were reported and 29,447 new cases of other primary cancers. With the exclusion of melanoma, a non-melanoma skin cancer history was found to be associated with a 20% increased risk of other cancers in women and an 11% increased risk of other cancers in men. After correcting for multiple comparisons, it was found that a non-melanoma skin cancer history was significantly associated with a higher risk of lung and breast cancer in women and an increased risk of melanoma in both women and men.

The study found a modestly elevated risk of subsequent malignancies in individuals having a non-melanoma skin cancer history, particularly lung and breast cancers in women and also melanoma in women and men. Because this was an observational study, the results need cautious interpretation, but nevertheless support a need for ongoing research of the potential mechanisms which underlie this connection.

Skin Cancer Prevention Infographic

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