Skin cancer in young raises susceptibility to further cancers

Professor Rodney Sinclair from the Faculty of Medicine at the university and author of the study said young people who have been treated for non-melanoma skin cancer should be targeted for cancer screening programs.

Getting non-melanoma skin cancer younger really raises your susceptibility to cancer in general, he said. 

"This is like a big stamp across their forehead that says ‘I am a cancer prone individual’,” Professor Sinclair said.

Researchers drew on the health records of 502,503 patients in the United Kingdom diagnosed with a non-melanoma skin cancer between 1999 and 2011 and followed them for five years. They found they had a 13.3% chance of developing a malignant cancer compared the 9.8% chance estimated for a control cohort. 

Risks were higher the younger the patient was when diagnosed. Patients who were aged 25 years and younger at diagnosis were 23 times more likely to develop a malignant cancer in