(HealthDay News) — Patients who have an organ transplant may be more likely to develop skin cancer, and that applies to all transplant patients, even those who are nonwhite and dark-skinned, according to research published online in JAMA Dermatology.

Christina Lee Chung, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed medical records of 413 organ transplant recipients, 62.7% of whom were not white.

The investigators found 19 new skin cancers in 15 of the nonwhite patients. That group included 6 black patients, 5 Asians, and 4 Hispanics. All squamous cell carcinomas in blacks were diagnosed in the in situ stage. These cancers were also located on sun-protected sites, and occurred in patients whose lesions tested positive for human papillomavirus and/or who had a history of condyloma acuminata or verruca vulgaris. Most of the Asian patients developed skin cancers in areas that had been exposed to the sun. These cancers tended to occur in individuals who emigrated from equatorial locations.

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“Nonwhite organ transplant patients represent a unique group with specialized medical needs; thus, more knowledge on risk factors, appropriate screening methods, and counseling points are essential for providing comprehensive dermatologic care for these patients,” the authors write.

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1. Pritchett EN, Doyle A, Shaver CM, et al. Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer in Nonwhite Organ Transplant Recipients. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Sep 21. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.3328.