ACG: Bowel Disease Linked to Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Risk is particularly elevated in patients treated with the thiopurine class of medications

TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer may be elevated, especially in those receiving the thiopurine class of medications, according to research presented this week at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting, held from Oct. 23 to 28 in San Diego.

Millie Long, M.D., of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 26,403 patients with Crohn's disease and 26,974 patients with ulcerative colitis who were each matched with three randomly selected controls, and a nested case-control study of 387 Crohn's disease patients and 355 ulcerative colitis patients with non-melanoma skin cancer who were each matched to four randomly selected controls.

The researchers found that cohort-study participants with inflammatory bowel disease had a higher incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer than controls (incidence rate ratio, 1.64). They also found that nested case-control participants with inflammatory bowel disease who had recent use of any immunosuppressive medication had a higher risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (adjusted odds ratio, 3.28), especially if the medication was a thiopurine (adjusted odds ratio, 3.56). Persistent use of a thiopurine was associated with risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (adjusted odds ratio, 4.27).

"Appropriate counseling and monitoring for non-melanoma skin cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease may be indicated," the authors conclude.


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