Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Risk of Internal Malignancies in Patients With Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020

According to a Korean study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, patients diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer appear to be at an increased risk of developing systemic cancers. K.Y. Chung, MD, PhD, of the Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, and colleagues, suggest patients with this type of skin cancer should be screened for internal malignancies, and further studies are warranted.

“Since the risks of cancers were remarkably increased in the bone, nasal cavity, oral cavity, anus, and cervix, especially in younger individuals, non-melanoma skin cancer could be a clinical marker for those cancers,” the investigators commented.

The medical records of 27,259 patients with non-melanoma skin cancer and 54,518 matched controls without this type of skin cancer were included in the retrospective cohort study. Altogether, 43.4% of the included patients were male, and the mean age of patients was 68.7 years. Patients were enrolled from the Korean NH1 database from January 2007 to December 2016.

For the non-melanoma skin cancer and control groups, the incidence rate of overall internal malignancies was 2727.7 and 1392.4 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. Of note, younger patients (between the ages of 40 and 64) were found to be at a higher risk of developing systemic cancers.

In addition, the investigators reported these findings: “Bone cancer showed the highest risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 12.745), followed by nasal cavity and larynx (HR = 10.279), oral cavity and pharynx (HR = 10.211), anus and anal canal (HR = 8.147), and cervical cancers (HR = 5.900), with risks greater than fivefold higher in non-melanoma skin cancer patients compared with the controls.” Also, they found, risk of cancers of the thorax, esophagus, breast, lung, stomach, and thyroid gland was also higher, whereas the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum was lower.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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