Parkinson's Disease and Melanoma May Occur Together, Study Finds

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Doctors should counsel patients that if they have one disease, they're at risk of the otherFRIDAY, July 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with Parkinson's disease are about four times more likely to develop melanoma skin cancer, and conversely, people with melanoma have a fourfold higher risk of getting Parkinson's, researchers report.

Although doctors have known about the connection between these diseases, they still don't know why having one increases the risk of the other.

"Future research should focus on identifying common genes, immune responses and environmental exposures that may link these two diseases," said study first author Dr. Lauren Dalvin, who's with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"If we can pinpoint the cause of the association between Parkinson's disease and melanoma, we will be better able to counsel patients and families about their risk of developing one disease in the setting of the other," she said in a Mayo news release.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive brain disorder. Symptoms of the disease include tremors, stiffness and difficulty walking, according to the National Parkinson Foundation.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. It occurs much less often than other forms of skin cancer, but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. Melanoma starts as a new spot on the skin, or when a mole changes in size, shape or color.

Previous studies has suggested that the Parkinson's drug levodopa may play a role in melanoma, but the findings from this new study and others don't support that theory, the researchers said.

The new study included nearly 1,000 people with Parkinson's disease and compared them to almost 3,000 people without the movement disorder. The study also included more than 1,500 with melanoma. All of the study volunteers came from one county in Minnesota.

The researchers said since there is such a strong connection between these diseases, doctors treating patients for either disease should watch for signs of the other. The researchers also recommended that doctors counsel patients about their risk of the other condition.

The study was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on Parkinson's disease.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, July 5, 2017

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1 Comment

Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:18 AM

My husband is 80 years and has been suffering from PD for the past 15 years. Lately he  started hallucinating and I didn't know how to handle the situation. He cannot sleep and tried to find and catch the imaginary people who he thinks are real. he was taken Entacapone with Levodopa, Carbidopa, and Pramipexole and started physical therapy to strengthen muscles. nothing was really working to help his condition.I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started him on parkinson’s herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, his symptoms totally declined over a 5 weeks use of the Parkinsons disease natural herbal formula.i read reviews from other previous patients who used the herbal formula, my husband is now active, he can now go about daily exercise!!  his symptoms so much reduced that now I hardly notice them.Visit there website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email Info@ healthherbalclinic. net
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