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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2009 Nov;116(11):1503-7. doi: 10.1007/s00702-009-0322-x.

The particular relationship between Parkinson's disease and malignancy: a focus on skin cancers.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, The Sagol Neuroscience Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.


Although the risk for most cancers appears to be relatively low in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), skin cancers and melanomas occur more frequently in the PD population as compared to controls. This article summarizes the findings of cohort studies on skin cancer in Parkinson's disease. Given that melanoma may precede use of L-dopa, the increased risk of melanoma for PD patients cannot be attributed to L-dopa. On the basis of these observations it may be reasonable to recommend that all patients with PD, whether treated with L-dopa or not, should undergo regular dermatological screening for neoplastic or pre-neoplastic skin lesions, especially melanoma.

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