A study published on JAMA Oncology shows that Parkinson’s disease is related to higher risk of developing certain types of cancer among Taiwanese population.
The research led by Pan-Chyr Yang, MD, PhD of the Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, establishes a link between Parkinson’s and the following types of cancer: malignant brain tumors, colorectal, lung cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancers, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, some hormone-related cancers, prostate, cervical, urinary tract cancers , lymphoma/ leukemia, melanoma, other skin cancers, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Parkinson disease was not linked to ovarian, breast, and thyroid cancers.
Data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database were used in the cohort study. These data contained the records of more than 20 million insured individuals. The study also included persons recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s between the years 2004 and 2010.
In order to identify patients afflicted with cancer, data from the Taiwan Population Census and National Cancer Registry Databases were obtained.
But, according to the author, even with their latest Taiwan results, more studies are still needed to determine whether their findings could be applied to other populations in East Asia.
Also, the Taiwan findings vary from results of previous studies conducted among Western populations where there was decreased cancer risk among Western patients.
The team has come to observe the significance of environmental exposure along with ethnicity in disease pathogenesis.
It was James Parkinson who had made the very first medical description of Parkinson’s disease in 1817.
But the disease had been also already observed from 1000 BC, based on ancient Indian texts and old Chinese documents.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder which primarily affects brain cells that regulate movement. Among its symptoms are poor balance, tremors, stiffness, dementia and depression. The disorder affects approximately 1 million people in the US.