December 29, 2009

Skin Cancer Risk High After Heart Transplant

By Kelley Luckstein

Nearly half -- 46.4% -- of heart transplant patients at the Mayo Clinic developed skin cancers during follow-up, particularly squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas, researchers reported.


Among the 312 heart transplant patients followed for 19 years, a total of 1,395 new skin cancers developed -- 89% were squamous cell carcinomas and 11% were basal cell carcinomas, Jerry D. Brewer, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues reported in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology


"For patients with heart transplants, we advise sunscreen daily -- even in the winter -- self skin examinations monthly, and annual skin examinations with a dermatologist," Brewer told MedPage Today. "With these simple habits and practices, skin cancers can be prevented and caught earlier, making them much easier to deal with. Additional coverage: Times of India


MedPage Today, by Katrina Woznicki, 12/28/09

Tags: Cancer, Cardiology, Dermatology, heart transplant, skin cancer

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