Skin Cancer May Predict Future Cancers


A recent study shows that individuals with many cases of a skin cancer type, face a high risk of developing other cancers.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and there are many types, with the most common being the basal cell carcinoma. Millions of diagnoses are carried out every year in the United States.

Ultra violet light constantly bombards our skin, which damages DNA and may ultimately lead to cancer. The cells contain proteins that repair this damage. Compared to other cancer types, it’s important to catch skin cancer at an early stage.

A new study at Stanford University School of Medicine in CA shows that basal cell carcinoma can help doctors tell who faces a higher risk of developing other cancer types:

  • The researchers followed 61 persons who’d experienced a high number of basal cell carcinoma and were treated at Stanford Health Care. On average, the participants had 11 incidences within 10 years.
  • The scientists found that approximately 20% of individuals with frequent basal cell carcinomas had mutations in those genes that repair DNA damage, compared to 3% of the general population.
  • The study unveiled that the likelihood of persons who develop at least six basal cell carcinomas in a 10-year period is three times higher than the general population to have other types of cancer. Those cancer types included melanoma, prostate, cancer of the blood, colon and breast.
  • In a bid to build up evidence, the researchers used a bigger sample of 13,000 people: an insurance claims’ database. The data comprised of people who’d experienced at least six basal cell carcinomas.

The analysis confirmed the earlier findings: these people were at least three times likely to get other types of cancer.

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