According to new research, men and women with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer are at a higher risk of developing breast and lung cancers in addition to melanoma, compared to people who do not have a history of skin cancer.
The connection was discovered by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School after analyzzing data from two large cohorts, the Nurse's Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
The researchers found 36,102 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, the most common type of skin cancer which is caused by overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. They also found 29.447 cases of other cancers, including prostate, melanoma, breast, ad lung cancer over a follow-up period of about 25 years.
Among women with a prior history of non-melanoma skin cancer, there was a 20% increased risk of developing another form of cancer other than melanoma. Men with a past history of non-melanoma skin cancer were found to have a 11% higher risk of developing another type of cancer.
After accounting for other possible risk factors for developing tumors, the researchers also found that having non-melanoma skin cancer nearly doubled the risk of melanoma in men and increased the risk of breast cancer by 20%, lung cancer by 32%, and melanoma by more than two-fold in women.