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Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Risk Up in Organ Transplant Recipients

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Risk Up in Organ Transplant Recipients
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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Patients who have an organ transplant may be more likely to develop skin cancer, and that applies to all transplant patients, even those who are nonwhite and dark-skinned, according to research published online Sept. 21 in JAMA Dermatology.

Christina Lee Chung, M.D., an associate professor of dermatology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed medical records of 413 organ transplant recipients, 62.7 percent of whom were not white.

The investigators found 19 new skin cancers in 15 of the nonwhite patients. That group included six black patients, five Asians, and four Hispanics. All squamous cell carcinomas in blacks were diagnosed in the in situ stage. These cancers were also located on sun-protected sites, and occurred in patients whose lesions tested positive for human papillomavirus and/or who had a history of condyloma acuminata or verruca vulgaris. Most of the Asian patients developed skin cancers in areas that had been exposed to the sun. These cancers tended to occur in individuals who emigrated from equatorial locations.

“Nonwhite organ transplant patients represent a unique group with specialized medical needs; thus, more knowledge on risk factors, appropriate screening methods, and counseling points are essential for providing comprehensive dermatologic care for these patients,” the authors write.

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