People who find themselves in need of an organ transplant expect to see the light at the end of the tunnel once they receive said transplant.
Sadly, new research shows that organ transplant recipients face an increased risk of developing 32 different cancers. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, anal cancer, Kaposi sarcoma, melanoma, and thyroid cancer are among the 32 types of cancer.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma was the most commonly developed cancer among organ transplant patients, particularly those who had had a lung transplant when they were either very young or older.
Lung cancer, liver cancer, and kidney cancer were also among the most commonly developed cancers for transplant recipients.
The Journal of the American Medical Association study shows that patients of organ transplantation have double the risk of developing cancer. This information came about by surveying over 175,000 organ transplant patients over a twenty year period.
Why the increased risk? Researchers suspect that the increased risk is due to the immuno-suppressant drugs a organ transplant patient must take to avoid organ rejection.
In fact Dr. Eric A. Engels, a study researcher himself, says of the increased risk of cancer that it "resembles that of people with HIV infection, whose risk is elevated for infection-related cancers due to immunosuppression."
This news is no surprise to doctors or medical experts, but they have hopes that it will help develop better screening methods for organ transplant recipients. Doctors also point out that the study shows a need for a re-designed post-transplant medication, one that does not wipe out the entire immune system.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.