Cancers of sweat glands, hair follicles on rise

July 6, 2010

Bethesda, Md. - National Cancer Institute researchers say the incidence of cutaneous appendageal carcinomas - cancers of the sweat glands and hair follicles - has increased since the late 1970s, MedPageToday.com reports.

Bethesda, Md. - National Cancer Institute researchers say the incidence of cutaneous appendageal carcinomas - cancers of the sweat glands and hair follicles - has increased since the late 1970s, MedPageToday.com reports.

From 1978 through 2005, the rate of the cancers rose from 2.0 per 1 million person-years to 5.0, a 150 percent jump, according to research reported in the June issue of Archives of Dermatology.

There was an especially large increase in sebaceous carcinoma, from 0.6 per 1 million person-years to 1.9, up 217 percent.

The cancers also occurred at a significantly higher rate among non-Hispanic whites (5.7 per 1 million person-years) than among Hispanic whites (3.7), blacks (3.5) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (2.5).

The overall increase is “perhaps related to improved recognition and classification, but factors such as UV exposure and immunosuppression may also play a role,” the researchers write.