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8. Cancer
          Transplant patients are at increased risk for certain types of cancers, especially lymphoma, skin and
          cervical cancer. Fortunately Lymphoma is very rare. Skin cancer, however, is very common, but if
          detected early, is very easily treated.                                SKIN CARE
            Several factors influence the types of cancers
                                                                  Taking good care of your skin is vital for
          seen in transplant patients.                          kidney transplant recipients because, once you
            These include:
                                                                receive a transplant and begin taking
          i) viral infections acquired either before, or after,  immunosuppression, you are more at risk for
                                                                developing skin cancer. This risk also increases
          ii) Use of immunosuppressive therapy to prevent       with time. Immunosuppressesive drugs
             rejection of the kidney.
                                                                prevent rejection of your kidney, by reducing
                                                                the immune system’s natural capacity to repair
                                                                or destroy sun damaged cells. These cells can
                  THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES                     develop into cancer.
                         OF SKIN CANCERS                          Some patients will be at higher risk due to
                                                                other factors such as: fair skin that burns
        ACTINIC KERATOSIS                                       easily, light coloured eyes, blonde/red hair,
                                   These     lesions    pre     numerous      freckles,   outdoor     working
                                   dispose to skin cancer.      environment, previous skin cancer, or
                                   They are usually pink or     prolonged sun exposure in the past
                                   red spots with a jagged
                                   surface. They most         SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA (SCC)
                                   frequently appear on       This    is  the    most
         Actinic Keratosis
                                   sun exposed sites such     common type of skin
        as hands, face or neck. Early treatment may prevent   cancer in transplant
        progression to skin cancer.                           recipients. Again, it
                                                              usually appears on sun
                                                              exposed sites. It may
        BASAL CELL                                            appear as a scaly area    Squamous Cell Carcinoma
        CARCINOMA (BCC)                                       of skin with a red inflamed base. Both BCC & SCC
        Most BCC present as a                                 are usually painless.
        lesion, that never heals
        completely, and may                                   MELANOMA
        bleed occasionally. This                                                          This is the most serious
        may look like a scaly red                                                         form of skin cancer but
        flat mark or a lesion                                                             also the rarest. It is best
        with a white rim                                                                  described     as    an
        surrounding a central                                                             irregular black or brown
        dip. If left untreated it                              Melanoma                   spot. It may appear as a
                                       Basal Cell Carcinoma
        may become ulcerated.                                 new lesion or occur on an existing mole.

                                                                                         Most skin cancers can
                                                                                             advance rapidly in
                                                                                              kidney transplant
                  INCREASE IN SIZE, BLEEDING OR CHANGE IN                              patients but if detected
             APPEARANCE, YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.                                and treated early they

                                                                                                    are curable.

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