Posted on January 2nd, 2012 by
People with a history of certain types of cancer may be at increased risk of melanoma—an aggressive form of skin cancer. These results were published in the Archives of Dermatology.
Of the more than one million new diagnoses of skin cancer each year, roughly 68,000 involve melanoma. More than 8,000 people die of melanoma each year in the United States. What makes melanoma so dangerous is that it is more likely than other types of skin cancer to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Factors that increase the likelihood of developing melanoma include sun exposure and fair skin. To explore whether people with a history of cancer are more likely to develop melanoma, researchers collected information from a large US cancer database (the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database).
These results suggest that certain groups of cancer survivors may be at increased risk of melanoma. Risk of melanoma is particularly high for people who have already had a first diagnosis of melanoma, highlighting the importance of ongoing skin surveillance in this group.
Reference: Yang GB, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Chen Y, Bordeaux JS. Risk and survival of cutaneous melanoma diagnosed subsequent to a previous cancer. Archives of Dermatology. 2011;147:1395-1402.
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