Patients with a history of a none melanoma skin cancer such as basal cell or squamous cell cancer are at higher risk of subsequent basal cell or squamous cell cancers. However a recent study from Korea has suggested that these patient may also be at risk for other types of malignancies such as bone cancer or cervical cancer. This nationwide cohort study, compared 27 259 none melanoma skin cancer patients with 54 518 matched controls without skin cancer, Patients were followed for 8 years to observe the development of any internal malignancies after a diagnosis of skin cancer.

The risk was significantly higher in the patients with skin cancer. Bone cancer showed the highest risk followed by nasal cavity and larynx , oral cavity and pharynx (HR , anus and anal canal and cervical cancers with risks greater than five-fold higher in none melanoma skin cancer patients compared with the controls.

So now when you get you diagnosis of skin cancer you need to get it treated, take precautions to limit your risk of future skin cancers, monitor your skin carefully for any suspicious lesions, and be aware that you may be at higher risk for several other unrelated malignancies!

However these results were from a relatively none diverse patient population and still need to be confirmed by other studies. How much “extra” risk of these internal malignancies Americans with skin cancer will have is yet to be definitively determined.

Article Citation

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer as a Clinical Marker for Internal Malignancies: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2019 Sep 08;[EPub Ahead of Print], SJ Yun, JM Bae, H Kim, BC Park, JS Kim, SH Seo, HH Ahn, DY Lee, YC Kim, HJ Park, KY Chung