Melanoma

 Key Facts

  • Parkinson's patients are at a greater risk of melanoma.
  • Patients should receive regular screening for melanoma.

Clinical Best Practices

  • There is no evidence regarding the frequency of screening required and who should perform the screening (dermatologist vs primary care physician).
  • A good physical examination is recommended. Evaluate skin changes in all your PD patients.

Table of Contents 

Melanoma  Overview 

There is an overlap in the tyrosine and L-dopa biosynthetic pathways, suggesting a common disease mechanism associated with PD and melanoma.

There is no evidence that levodopa contributes to the incidence or progression of melanoma.

Patients should receive regular screening for melanoma. Lack of patient and physician awareness can impede diagnoses.

See Also: Referrals
References: 

Olsen JH, Friis S, Frederiksen K, McLaughlin JK, Mellemkjaer L, Møller H. Atypical cancer pattern in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Br J Cancer. 2005;92(1):201-205.

Bertoni JM, Arlette JP, Fernandez HH, et al. Increased melanoma risk in Parkinson disease: a prospective clinicopathological study. Arch Neurol. 2010;67(3):347-352.

Paisán-Ruiz, Houlden H. Common pathogenic pathways in melanoma and Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2010;75(18):1653-1655.