• Parkinson's disease;
  • cancer;
  • population-based cohort;
  • Denmark


Previous studies report an atypical cancer pattern among patients with Parkinson's disease. Here, we evaluate the cancer pattern among people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in an extension of our previous cohort study. For this Danish population-based cohort study, we identified 20,000 people with Parkinson's disease diagnosed in 1977–2006, from the National Danish Hospital Register. Cohort members were followed up for cancer in the Danish Cancer Registry until December 31, 2008, and their incidence rates of cancer were compared to age-, sex- and calendar period-specific rates in the general population as standardized incidence rate ratios (SIRs). In subanalyses, we estimated the risk for cancer among patients with early onset Parkinson's disease and we also compared breast tumor characteristics among women with Parkinson's disease to that of a control group. The overall cancer risk in our cohort was decreased [SIR = 0.86; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.83–0.90], as were those for smoking-related (SIR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.60–0.70) and nonsmoking-related cancers (SIR = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.71–0.86). The cohort had increased risks for malignant melanoma (SIR = 1.41; 95% CI = 1.09–1.80), nonmelanoma skin cancer (SIR = 1.29; 95% CI = 1.18–1.39) and female breast cancer (SIR = 1.17; 95% CI = 1.02–1.34). Among patients with early onset Parkinson's disease, the risk for cancer was comparable to that of the general population. Of breast tumor characteristics, only grade of malignancy differed between Parkinson's disease women and controls. This study confirms a lower cancer risk among people with Parkinson's disease. Increased risks for malignant melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer and breast cancer might be due to shared risk factors with Parkinson's disease.