Common Skin Cancer Can Signal Increased Risk of Other Cancers - Dream Health

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Monday 13 August 2018

Common Skin Cancer Can Signal Increased Risk of Other Cancers

Skin Cancer could signal an increased risk for other Cancers

The most common cancer that occurs is skin cancer. There are a number of skin cancers but the most common among them is the basal cell carcinoma. A large number of people in the United States are diagnosed each year with skin cancer. Based on a new study, those who suffer from multiple incidences of basal cell carcinoma have an increased risk of developing other types of cancer.

Our skin is the largest organ of the body and is regularly exposed to the ultra violet rays of the sun. This makes it most vulnerable to damage of the DNA which in turn leads to skin cancer. One advantage is that it is easy to detect skin cancer in its early stage as compared with other kinds of cancer. Many of the other types of cancer do not generally show obvious symptoms until it has reached the advanced stage. Hence it is important to figure out who would be at greater risk.

Based on the new study, the basal cell carcinoma may become an indicator which would help the doctors to predict which of the patients have a higher risk of developing other kinds of cancer.

Skin Cancer as an indicator of other cancers

Since it is not possible to completely avoid the exposure to the UV rays of the sun, proteins are needed to repair the damaged DNA and prevent skin cancer. Each year there are more than 3 million people in the United States alone that are detected with skin cancer which is highly treatable.

Kavita Sarin, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology says that they have found that those who suffer from six or more basal cell carcinomas within a 10-year period are three times more susceptible to suffer from other, unrelated cancers. They are hoping that this discovery could help them identify those people who are at a higher risk of contracting other cancers and treat them in time.

Sarin and Cho conducted a study on 61 people suffering from frequent basal cell carcinomas, at an average of 11 per patient over a 10-year period. They were treated at Stanford Health Care. They investigated whether there were mutations in the 29 genes that code for proteins that help repair the damaged DNA.

The results obtained were quite alarming. 20 percent of those who suffered from frequent basal cell carcinomas showed mutation in one of the genes which was responsible for repairing the damaged DNA as compared with only 3 percent of the general population.

In addition, 21 out of the 61 people reported other cancers like blood cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, prostrate cancer and colon cancer. This indicated that those with frequent skin cancer are three times more susceptible to developing other cancers as compared to the general population.

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