Skin And Breasts: The Cancer Connection

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Skin And Breasts: The Cancer Connection featured image

You may have noticed that, here at NewBeauty, we give a lot of attention to skin and breasts. In fact, on DailyBeauty, an entire section is dedicated to skin, and breast is one of the top keywords. One of the many requisites for both area’s beauty is health; and you may be surprised to learn just how closely connected their well-being is.

Recently published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science, a new study has revealed an unusually profound link between breast cancer and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. A research team led by Dublin photobiologist Gillian M. Murphy, MD, examined the thousands of melanoma and breast carcinoma cases in Ireland’s National Cancer Registry between 1994 and 2007, mathematically determining that if there was no statistically meaningful link between the two conditions, about 33 people would have both. Stunningly, the actual number of patients with both malignancies was 127.

“In general, patients with melanoma or other skin cancers are always at higher risk of developing other malignancies,” Dr. Murphy, a member of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s International Advisory Board, explained. “But this is about a fourfold increase, which raises the possibility of a genetic predisposition linking the two cancers.”

Although previous studies have displayed a connection between the two cancers, the remarkable results of this study have led researchers to specifically advise doctors to monitor melanoma patients for breast cancer and vice versa. Patients should play an active role in their own care, as well, by being straightforward with their physicians about any history with either malignancy. The researchers recommend female melanoma patients get routine breast exams and, in the case of breast cancer in the family, annual mammograms or regular breast MRIs, depending on age.

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