Volumes of oncologic research and statistics still rank skin cancer as the most common form of cancer, comprising almost half of all cases of cancer in the United States. Every year, over 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed with basal and squamous cell skin cancer. The most deadly form, melanoma, kills over 12,000 men and women each year.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes related GI diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, strikes over 1.4 million Americans yearly, with most diagnoses made in individuals younger than 30 years old. These are incurable, lifelong conditions that greatly impact a person’s quality of life because they cause a spectrum of inconvenient gastrointestinal symptoms along with malabsorption of essential nutrients. A group of researchers attempted to investigate a possible link between the two conditions.
Recently, a group of researchers from Minnesota sought to determine if there is any correlative relationship between diseases like IDB and melanoma. as part of the study, the researchers reviewed 12 cohort investigations on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and melanoma in order to determine if IBD increases an individual’s risk for developing melanoma, especially in patients receiving thiopurine treatments. The team analysed 12 published studies up to March 2013, including investigations that similarly associated IBD with increased occurrences of melanoma. These studies included 172,837 cases of IBD, and 179 known cases of melanoma documented from the years 1940 to 2009.
The findings revealed that inflammatory bowel disease, regardless of the subject’s exposure to certain forms of biologic therapy or treatment, is indeed associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma. The full research text fof the study can be accessed on the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology website. The researchers recommend that those living with IBDs such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, consult with their physician regarding their susceptibility for melanoma.