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Study: Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer May Lead To Other Types Of Cancer

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A patient with freckles on her belly, as she gets a skin exam by a dermatologist.  (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A patient with freckles on her belly, as she gets a skin exam by a dermatologist. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a recent study, people who contract nonmelanoma skin cancer by the age of 25 face an increased risk of eventually developing melanoma or other types of cancer.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford analyzed data from over 500,000 individuals with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer.

According to RedOrbit, those involved in the study followed these people for up to six years, then compared them to around 8.7 million non-skin cancer patients.

The study determined that skin care survivors were 1.36 times more likely to develop other types of cancer. It found that younger patients were at an even higher risk; for people under 25, they were 23 times greater, and people 25-44 were 3.5 higher.

“Non-malignant skin cancer is considered the most common type of skin cancer, relatively east to treat if detected early, and rarely spreading to other organs,” Rodney Sinclair, a professor at the University of Melbourne and director of Dermatology at Epworth HealthCare, and the study’s lead author told UPI.

“Early detection of cancers through screening of asymptomatic people works best when screening can be targeted at those at greatest risk,” Sinclair went on to say. “Our study identifies people who receive a diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancer at a young age as being at increased risk for cancer and, therefore, as a group who could benefit from screening for internal malignancy.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta recommend that those concerned about contracting skin cancers of any type should use sunscreen, refrain from indoor tanning and stay in the shade.

“Protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach,” CDC officials recommend on their website. “UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow.”

The data the researchers used was collected between 1999 and 2011. The study was recently published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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