Washington: Patients of heart transplants face serious skin cancer risks, a latest study reports.
When people receive heart transplants, they need immune medications to keep their body from rejecting the transplant.
The changes to the immune system they experience as a result of the medications can also make them more susceptible to developing cancers, the American Journal of Transplantation reports.
Led by Murad Alam, Northwestern University researchers studied 10 years of patient information regarding 6,271 heart transplants at 32 US transplant centres, according to a Northwestern statement.
Results showed that when looking at what happened to many patients who had undergone heart transplant over a decade, these patients were four to 30 times more likely to get skin cancers than other patients who had not had heart transplants.
"Improved patient education and appropriately increased screening and detection of skin cancers in heart transplant patients may potentially reduce their risk of serious morbidity and mortality," Alam notes.