Does a History of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Lead to An Increased Risk of Other Primary Cancers?

logo1267406_mdA prospective study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported in PLOS Medicine reported on an association between risk of second primary cancer and history of non-melanoma skin cancer in white men and women. They found that people with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer had a modest increase risk of getting cancer in the future, specifically breast and lung cancer in women, and melanoma in both men and women,

Data was analyzed from two cohort studies in the United States and followed over 46,000 men from June, 1986 to June 2008, and over 107,000 women from June, 1984 to June 2008. Over the period there were over 36,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, and over 29,000 new cases of other primary cancers. A history of non-melanoma skin cancer was significantly associated with a 15% higher risk of other primary cancers in men, and a 26% higher risk of other primary cancers in women.  When melanoma was excluded from the analysis, the rates change=d slightly, with a history if non-melanoma skin cancer associated with 11% higher rates of primary cancer in men, and a 20% higher rate of other primary cancers in women. Using statistical models to correct for multiple comparisons,  looking at individual cancer sites, they found that a history of non-melanoma skin cancer was significantly linked with an increase risk of breast cancer and lung cancer for women, and an increase risk of melanoma ion both men and women. However, because the study was observational the researchers advised caution about the results.

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