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Arsenic Levels Higher in Patients With Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 -- Certain arsenic species levels are higher among patients with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), according to a study published online Aug. 16 in the Journal of Dermatology.

Tae-Hoon Kim, from Dong-A University in Busan, South Korea, and colleagues compared the creatinine-adjusted urinary concentration of arsenic species in NMSC patients and community controls to validate the contribution of each arsenic species to NMSC. Data were included for 124 biopsy-proven NMSC cases and 125 age- and sex-matched community controls, drinking tap water with a low-level arsenic concentration.

The researchers observed significantly higher levels of total inorganic arsenic, trivalent and pentavalent arsenic, and monomethylarsonic acid for the NMSC group than controls. The NMSC group had lower total arsenic, organic arsenic, and dimethylarsonic acid levels.

"We suggest that inorganic arsenic species, trivalent arsenic, and pentavalent arsenic may influence the prevalence of NMSC, in spite of these levels being lower than the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry-recommended standard or the levels reported by other highly contaminated areas and neighboring countries in East Asia," the authors write. "Furthermore, it also suggests that total arsenic level cannot represent the risk of NMSC."

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Posted: August 2017