Harvard Health Letter

Parkinson's disease associated with higher risk of certain cancers

People with Parkinson's disease and their relatives may be more likely to develop prostate cancer and/or melanoma, according to research published online Sept. 3, 2012, in the Archives of Neurology. Researchers performed computer-aided analysis of about 2.3 million people in the Utah genealogical resource, and found that those two cancers were the only ones to show a strong connection to Parkinson's. Researchers believe that there is a strong genetic component to prostate cancer and melanoma risk, and that neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's may share common mechanisms with the other diseases.

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