One Skin Cancer Can Beget Other Cancers

Women with history of nonmelanoma cancer have greater risk, U.S. study finds

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MONDAY, Nov. 17, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Women with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer have a greater risk for other cancers, says a U.S. study.

The study also found black women who've had nonmelanoma skin cancer have a much greater risk of developing other cancers than white women with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer.

The study, published online Nov. 17, appears in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer. The study was done by a team of researchers led by Dr. Carol A. Rosenberg of Evanston-Northwestern Healthcare and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Nonmelanoma cancers such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas are common in the United States. Patients with these cancers usually have a favorable prognosis.

The study found women with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer are more than twice as likely to develop other cancers, regardless of ethnicity, age, socioeconomic background, smoking status or other lifestyle factors.

It also found black women with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer were more than seven times more likely to develop a second cancer than other black women. Black women who've had nonmelanoma skin cancer were also at greater risk for a second cancer than white women with nonmelanoma skin cancer.

"This cross-sectional study, undertaken in a large, ethnically diverse and clinically well-characterized sample, supports an association between history of nonmelanoma skin cancer and history of other cancers in women," the study authors write.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about nonmelanoma skin cancer.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc., news release, Nov. 17, 2003

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