(HealthDay News) — Individuals with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) have an increased risk of subsequent primary cancers, according to a study published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Eugene Liat Hui Ong, BMBCh, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from an all-England record-linked hospital and mortality dataset from 1999 to 2011 to examine the risk of primary malignant cancers in individuals with a history of NMSC.

Two cohorts were constructed: one including 502,490 people with a history of NMSC and a second that included people without a history of NMSC. The cohorts were followed electronically to ascertain the observed and expected numbers of people with subsequent primary cancers.

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The researchers found that the standardized relative risk for all subsequent malignant cancers was 1.36 for the NMSC cohort versus the non-NMSC cohort.

For 26 of the 29 cancer types studied, the relative risks were significantly increased (P < 0.05), in particular for salivary gland, melanoma, bone, and upper gastrointestinal tract cancers.

Younger people with versus those without NMSC had particularly high relative risks.

“NMSC is strongly associated with a broad spectrum of other primary cancers, particularly in younger age groups,” the researchers wrote. “The pattern suggests a genetic or early-acquired etiologic association.”


  1. Ong ELH, Goldacre R, Hoang U, et al. Subsequent Primary Malignancies in Patients with Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer in England: A National Record-Linkage Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014; 23(3):490-498.