Melanoma survivors at higher risk of prostate cancer: Aussie research

2018-05-10 03:06:04 GMT2018-05-10 11:06:04(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SYDNEY, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Men who suffer from melanoma also run a higher risk of getting prostate cancer even after they have overcome the major skin disease, according to latest Australian research.

The findings highlight the importance of sun protection, cancer charity Cancer Council NSW said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We looked at all prostate cancer and melanoma diagnoses between 1972 and 2008," council research fellow Visalini Nair-Shalliker said, "There were nearly 144,000 men diagnosed with either cancer in the study period. Of the men first diagnosed with melanoma, 2,114 were subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer."

That means that men with a previous diagnosis of melanoma "are at a 25 percent increased risk of a prostate cancer diagnosis."

The findings are especially important in Australia, where rates of melanoma and prostate cancer are among the highest in the world. For Australian men, prostate cancer is the most common cancer, and melanoma the third most common one, according to the cancer organization.

Solar ultraviolet exposure is also the leading environmental cause of melanoma, behind more than 95 percent of the skin cancer cases, it said.

"Our results suggest that sun exposure may also play a role in prostate cancer, and that protecting yourself from the sun is therefore all the more important," Nair-Shalliker said.