PD Linked to 16 Cancers, Research

In an effort to explain association between Parkinson’s and cancer to the East Asian population, a study was conducted in Taiwan. The conclusion of the study was found to be that Parkinson is related to 16 types of cancer.
Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database provided researchers with 62,023 patients who had just recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s from 2004 to 2010 and 124,046 participants without the disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disease that usually affects the middle aged and elderly people. It is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, progressive because the symptoms worsen with time. It involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain called neurons, affecting the individual’s movements and coordination.

Symptoms may include:
• tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
• slowness of movement
• rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
• postural instability or impaired balance and coordination

Presently there is no cure for Parkinson’s, but surgery or medication could manage the symptoms.

After the nationwide study on the link between PD (Parkinson’s disease) and cancer, it was concluded that PD is a major risk factor for most of the cancer in Taiwan, as stated by Pan-Chyr Yang of the National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei.

Although PD diagnosis in patients did not put them at risk of breast, ovarian or thyroid cancer. In the study, these 3 types of cancers, were found to have no particular link or association with Parkinson’s disease.

But PD was found to have a link with 16 other types of cancers, including :
– Malignant brain tumors
– Gastrointestinal tracts cancers
– Lung cancers
– Hormone related cancers
– Urinary tract cancers
– Lymphoma/leukemia
– Melanoma and other skin cancers.

But a little more research is required to find out whether these findings apply to other East Asian populations.

“The striking differences between our study and the previous studies in Western cohorts suggest the importance of ethnicity and environmental exposures in disease pathogenesis,” Yang concluded.

The study appeared online in the journal JAMA Oncology.


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