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Immunosuppression and Cancer

Immunosuppressive mediations are essential to prevent graft rejection and to optimize graft survival. However, because these medications suppress the immune system, whose main function is to fight off infection and prevent the development of cancer, transplant recipients are at elevated risk for infection and certain cancers.

The exact mechanism by which immunosuppressive medications promote tumor growth is currently being studied. However, several lines of evidence suggest the duration, intensity and type of immunosuppressant may be related to the development of skin cancer.

Transplant patients have an increased incidence of:

  • Skin cancer (most common)
  • Lymphoma
  • Cervial cancer
  • Liver cancer

Updated: May 4, 2007
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
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