Reuters Health Information (2003-11-17): Skin cancer link to other malignancies stronger in blacks
Skin cancer link to other malignancies stronger in blacks
Last Updated: 2003-11-17 16:05:48 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Among people with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), blacks appear more likely than other ethnic groups to develop a second malignancy, new research suggests.
Several reports have shown an increased risk of other malignancies in patients with a history of NMSC. The current findings confirm this association, but, for the first time, also indicate the presence of a racial effect.
The results, which are reported in the November 17th online issue of Cancer, are based on a cross-sectional study of more than 90,000 postmenopausal women. The subjects were drawn from the Women's Health Initiative Observational study and complete cancer data were available in all cases.
A history of NMSC was reported by 7554 of the women, nearly all of whom were white. Such women were 2.3-times more likely than other women to report a second malignancy, study author Dr. Janardan Khandekar, from Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Illinois, and colleagues note.
In terms of cancer types, NMSC history was most strongly tied to liver cancer, followed by Hodgkin disease, leukemia, and lung cancer, the investigators point out.
Race seemed to be a major determinant of cancer risk with a NMSC history. Among blacks, this history was tied to a sevenfold increased risk of other cancers, whereas among whites it only conferred a 2.3-fold increased risk. Other ethnic groups had risks that fell between these extremes.
The finding that second cancer risk varied by racial group "may reflect underlying ethnic immunologic differences," the researchers note. "This may be a fruitful area for further research on ethnic-related cancer differences," they add.