Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects one's movement. It has now been associated with 16 types of cancer, revealed a Taiwanese study.
The research team used Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database to build a final study group of 62,023 patients newly diagnosed with PD from 2004 through 2010 and 124,046 control participants without PD.
Pan-Chyr Yang of the National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, said, "Based on this nationwide study on the association between PD and cancer risk, we conclude that PD is a risk factor for most cancer in Taiwan."
The study did not find an association between PD and breast, ovarian and thyroid cancers. But, PD appeared to be associated (as measured by increased hazard ratios) with 16 other cancers including malignant brain tumors, gastrointestinal tracts cancers, lung cancers, some hormone-related cancers, urinary tract cancers, lymphoma/leukemia, melanoma and other skin cancers.
Yang said, "Further studies are needed to clarify whether our findings can be applied 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."
The study appeared online in the JAMA Oncology.