Last month a study advised people with degenerative nerve disease to undergo regular skin cancer screenings.
While it's a good idea for anyone considered at risk of skin cancers to be screened regularly for abnormalities, researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha urge those with Parkinson's disease to be especially vigilant. That's based on their findings that melanoma occurs more often in patients with Parkinson's than in the general population.
The study was conducted at 31 different North American centers and included 2,106 patients with Parkinson's disease, who undersent various examinations and, when applicable, biopsies of suspicious moles or growths. Of that group, 20 had localized melanomas and another 68 had a history of melanoma, according to the Archives of Neurology (March, 2010).
Interestingly, the study noted that 85 percent of patients had taken levodopa, but researchers found no evidence this related to melanoma risks.