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IBD Increases Skin Cancer Risk: Study

Monday, 28 November 2011 07:50 AM

Patients who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may have an increased risk of developing skin cancer, and the risk is even higher in those patients who have taken immunosuppressant medications. Two studies appearing in the American Gastroenterological Association's journal Gastroenterology, found that IBD patients who used thiopurines, which include Purinethol, Azasan, and Tabloid, significantly increased their risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer — and at an early age.
"The increased risk of skin cancer that we found in our study was observed in all patients, even before the age of 50 years," said Dr. Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, lead author of the first study. "As expected, this risk increased with age.
"All patients with irritable bowel disease currently receiving or having previously received thiopurines should protect their skin from UV radiation and receive regular dermatologic screening, regardless of their age," said Peyrin-Biroulet.
Nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. NMSC is also the most common cancer diagnosed in people on immunosuppressive medications, and the numbers of patients with IBD who are treated with immunosuppressants continue to increase.
"All individuals should be protecting themselves against skin cancer," said Harminder Singh, lead author of the second study. "But, it is especially important that physicians stress the need to be extra vigilant about skin care with their irritable bowel disease patients, especially among those exposed to immunosuppressants such as thiopurines."

© HealthDay

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Patients with imflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may have an increased risk of skin cancer, especially those who have taken drugs that suppress their immune system.
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Monday, 28 November 2011 07:50 AM
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