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Family history of melanoma ups risk of melanoma, keratinocyte cancers

29 Jul 2019

Individuals who have a first-degree relative with melanoma are at an increased risk of melanoma and keratinocyte cancers (KCs), according to a study.

The investigators prospectively followed 216,115 participants from the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurse’s Health Study 2 and Health Professionals Follow-up Study for more than 20 years to determine the risk of melanoma and KCs in those with a positive family history of melanoma.

The association between family history of melanoma and melanoma and KCs was estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression, controlling for known pigmentary and environmental risk factors for skin cancer.

Individuals with a family history of melanoma had a 74-percent higher risk of melanoma (hazard ratio [HR], 1.74, 95 percent CI, 1.45–2.09), a 22-percent higher risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC; HR, 1.22, 1.06–1.40) and 27-percent higher risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC; HR, 1.27, 1.12–1.44) than those without.

Family history of melanoma heightened the risk of developing truncal melanoma in both sexes, as well as extremity melanoma and extremity squamous cell carcinoma in women.

An earlier study by Wu and colleagues reported an association between personal history of KC and an increased risk of melanoma. This association was more pronounced among individuals with a history of both BCC and SCC (HR, 3.40, 1.60–7.19) than among those with a history of BCC only (HR, 2.20, 1.80–2.70) or SCC only (HR, 1.56, 0.98–2.46). [J Natl Cancer Inst 2017;doi:10.1093/jnci/djw268]

The current study was limited by self-reported family history and detection bias, according to the investigators.

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Most Read Articles
Christina Lau, 14 Feb 2019
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