Melanoma patients more likely to suffer another cancer
People suffering from skin cancer have a higher chance of developing another type of cancer, researchers said today.
Experts found that those being treated for the disease could be more than twice as likely to get another cancer compared with the general population.
Previous studies have shown that people suffering from one cancer are at higher risk of developing another.
Researchers for this study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, decided to focus their attention just on people with skin cancer.
They analysed data from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) for between 1993 and 2002, including 20,823 people treated for non-melanoma skin cancer and 1,837 people with melanoma.
Compared with the general population, people with non-melanoma skin cancer were up to 57per cent more likely to develop another type of cancer.
They were almost twice as likely to go on to develop melanoma and had an increased risk of smoking-related cancers.
The risk was much higher in those who had had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) than those who had basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
Among those with melanoma, the risk of developing another cancer was more than double.
In this research, patients developed another cancer that was unrelated to the first.
This is different from when cancer spreads to other parts of the body (metastatic cancer).
Prof Liam Murray, one of the authors, based at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “This study confirms that people with a diagnosis of skin cancer have an increased future risk of developing another type of cancer, especially one of the other types of skin cancer or a smoking-related cancer — and for those with melanoma the risk may be more than double that of the rest of the population.