People suffering from Parkinson’s disease are at higher risk of skin cancer, vice versa- Study

Patients suffering from Parkinson’s are at four times more likely to have a history of melanoma that those without Parkinson’s
parkinson's disease link to skin cancer
India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi 05 Jul 2017, 04:28 PM IST

People suffering from this central nervous disorder Parkinson’s disease are also at increased risk of developing skin cancer melanoma and vice versa. This means there’s a link between Parkinson’s disease and skin cancer. Researchers from Mayo Clinic found that overall, patients suffering from Parkinson’s are at four times more likely to have a history of melanoma that those without Parkinson’s. Similarly, people with melanoma were also at four times higher risk of developing Parkinson’s. 

The study was published in the Journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, in which the team studied the occurrence of melanoma in 974 patients compared with 2,922 without. Some previous studies have suggested that a drug for Parkinson's -- known as levodopa -- may be implicated in malignant melanoma, but others have found an association between the two diseases regardless of levodopa treatment.

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The new results, however, support an association between Parkinson's disease and melanoma, but argue against levodopa as the cause. It was likelier that common environmental, genetic or immune system abnormalities underlie both conditions in patients who have both, but more study was needed to confirm that and refine screening recommendations, the researchers said.

"If we can pinpoint the cause of the association between Parkinson's disease and melanoma, we will be better able to counsel patients and families about their risk of developing one disease in the setting of the other," said lead author Lauren Dalvin from Mayo Clinic. 

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"Future research should focus on identifying common genes, immune responses and environmental exposures that may link these two diseases," Dalvin added.

In the meantime, patients with either of two diseases should be carefully checked and monitored for the other to help diagnose the disease early and begin the treatment. They should be aware of the risk of developing other illness as well.

(With IANS Inputs) 

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