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Pruritis Strongly Associated with Certain Cancers

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2018 Sep 11; Larson, et al

Pruritus is most strongly associated with cancers of the liver, skin, and hematopoietic system, according to a recent study. Furthermore, black patients with pruritus have a higher likelihood of skin, soft tissue, and hematological malignancies than whites, while whites have higher likelihood of liver, respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and gynecological malignancies. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of patients aged ≥18 years seen at the Johns Hopkins Health System from 2013-2017. Patients with pruritus were compared to patients without pruritus. Analyses were stratified by race. They found:

  • Patients with pruritus are more likely to have concomitant malignancy than those without pruritus (OR 5.76).
  • Most strongly associated are cancers of the liver, gallbladder and biliary tract, hematopoietic system, and skin.
  • Compared to whites, black patients more frequently have soft tissue, dermatological, and hematological malignancies, and less frequently have liver, respiratory, GI, and gynecological malignancies.
Citation:

Larson VA, Tang O, Stander S, Kang S, Kwatra SG. Association between itch and cancer in 16,925 pruritus patients: Experience at a tertiary care center. [Published online ahead of print September 11, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.08.044.

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