Here's a just released study that I found interesting:
A recent study from Archives of Neurology suggests that people with Parkinson's disease (PD) may carry a higher risk for both melanoma (a form of skin cancer) and prostate cancer. I guess I'm Exhibit A, since I have PD and prostate cancer. I've also been treated twice for melanoma.
Here's a summary of the findings:
- An increased risk for PD was associated with an increased risk for both prostate cancer and melanoma.
- Prostate cancer was diagnosed in 212 individuals who died with PD, compared with a normal expected risk of only 124.
- There was elevated risk for prostate cancer among first-, second-, and third-degree relatives of people who died with Parkinson's disease.
- There was significantly increased risk of death from PD among 22,147 men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
- Melanoma and prostate cancer were the only cancers in significant excess among those with PD. Colorectal, lung, pancreas, and stomach cancers were observed at lower than expected rates.
In a 2010 interview with MJFF, Susan Bressman, chairman of the department of neurology at Beth Israel Center, explained why levodopa might make someone more likely to develop melanoma:
Levodopa is needed to make the skin pigment melanin. So it makes sense that if you introduce excess levodopa into the system or hype up the system in any way, you could increase risk for melanoma. The usual precaution a neurologist would take for a patient with a history of melanoma is to be cautious about treatment with dopaminergics.Still, according to Bressman, recent studies have found that having PD causes the melanoma risk, not taking the drugs. While the jury is still out on what causes the PD-melanoma link, PD patients and their doctors should always be vigilant for signs of skin cancer.
I just had my semi-annual checkup with my urologist yesterday and should receive my latest PSA report Friday. After 15 years of slowly increasing PSA numbers, I saw my PSA reading more than double last September. Then it dropped significantly in March. I asked my urologist yesterday if that unusual spike could be related to the trauma from my car crash in August. He said that the accident might be a factor, since urologists have speculated that stress may affect PSA levels. There's another reason I'm especially interested: I've been taking curcumin for several months. Studies suggest that curcumin slows the progress of cancers in general, and prostate cancer in particular.