March 25, 2013

Previous Cancer May Up Melanoma Risk

Cancer Survivors Have Higher Risk Of Melanoma

Almost four years after my first cancer surgery, and my six inch surgical scar has shrunk to half that length, I have to remember that the battle is not over. I still have fair skin tone, the kind of skin that burns and peels instead of tans.  In fact, I had another cancer removed less than a year ago, and I doubt whether the wound will ever fill in completely.

A new study finds that cancer survivors are at increased risk for cutaneous melanoma, one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer.

Cutaneous melanoma is the 5th most diagnosed cancer in US men and 7th most commonly diagnosed in women. Overall incidence is increasing; death rates have decreased little, despite survival gains for other types of cancer.

Ultraviolet radiation exposure is the greatest risk factor for cutaneous melanoma.
Researchers analyzed data from US patients with melanoma as a first primary cancer and patients who were diagnosed with melanoma after surviving a previous cancer.

Among patients age 45 or older at first cancer diagnosis, the risk of developing cutaneous melanoma was much higher among those previously diagnosed with melanoma or other skin cancers, ocular melanoma, breast cancer or lymphoma.

Results suggest the need for continues skin surveillance in melanoma survivors as the risk remains elevated for over 15 years

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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