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Skin Cancer and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: Examining the Link

Authors

  • Shasa Hu MD,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine/Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida
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  • Daniel G. Federman MD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    2. Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Haven, Connecticut
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  • Fangchao Ma MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine/Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida
    2. Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida
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  • Robert S. Kirsner MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine/Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida
    2. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine/Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida
    3. Sylvester Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine/Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Florida
      Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine/Veterans Administration Medical Center, 1201 NW 16th Street, Miami, FL 33125, or e-mail: rkirsner@med.miami.edu
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine/Veterans Administration Medical Center, 1201 NW 16th Street, Miami, FL 33125, or e-mail: rkirsner@med.miami.edu

Abstract

Background The incidence rates of melanoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) have increased substantially worldwide over the past several decades. It has been hypothesized that ultraviolet light exposure through sunlight may be a common environmental risk factor shared by both skin cancer and NHL.

Objective The purpose of this study was to better understand the association between skin cancer and NHL and to evaluate its implication in clinical practice.

Methods We reviewed the current literature on the link between the two malignancies and on the role of ultraviolet light in the development of NHL. Publications were selected using a PUBMED search with the terms “non-Hodgkin's lymphoma” and “skin cancer.” Epidemiologic studies in English and published after 1995 were the focus.

Conclusions Large population-based studies support an increased risk of subsequent NHL among patients with skin cancers (both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers) and a risk of skin cancer development in patients with NHL, although support for a direct relationship between ultraviolet light and the incidence of NHL is weak and inconsistent. Given their increased risk of developing skin cancers, patients with a history of NHL may benefit from a full-body examination during their visits.

SHASA HU, MD, DANIEL G. FEDERMAN, MD, FANGCHAO MA, MD, PHD, AND ROBERT S. KIRSNER, MD, PHD, HAVE INDICATED NO SIGNIFICANT INTEREST WITH COMMERCIAL SUPPORTERS.

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