Melanoma Risk May Be Higher After Organ Transplant

Live Science | by Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Contributing Writer

People who receive organ transplants may have an increased risk of developing the deadly skin cancer melanoma, according to a new study.

Researchers found that the risk of melanoma among the organ transplant recipients in the study was about double that of people in the general population.

Moreover, the organ transplant recipients faced a risk of regional-stage melanoma - cancer that has begun to spread to other parts of the body - that was about quadruple that of the general population.

The researchers were surprised to see such a large increase in the risk of regional-stage melanoma, considering that the health of transplant recipients is generally closely monitored, said study author Hilary Robbins, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Such close monitoring should allow melanoma to be detected early, before the cancer starts to spread, she said. Continue reading