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Individuals who suffer from Parkinson's disease may be more likely to also receive a positive PSA test indicating the presence of prostate cancer, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Utah.
The findings contradict previous evidence, which suggested that Parkinson's disease patients are actually less likely to experience other types of cancer. The improved understanding of the association between the two diseases could help doctors identify patients who are at greater risk of prostate cancer.
For the study, researchers examined data from the Utah Population Database, which contains information on more than 2 million people going back 15 generations. In looking at the medical data of families that had histories of Parkinson's disease, the team noted a high prevalence of prostate cancer, as well as melanoma.
"Our findings point to the existence of underlying pathophysiologic changes that are common to PD, prostate cancer, and melanoma," said researcher Lisa Cannon-Albright. "Exploring the precise genetic links among these diseases could improve our understanding of PD and influence strategies for prostate and skin cancer screening."
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