AIDS Increases Risk of Non-AIDS-Related Cancers, Study Shows
Immune system suppression in HIV-positive individuals increases the risk of developing some types of cancer that are not specifically related to AIDS, according to a study published in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. Kaposi's sarcoma, non-Hodgkins's lymphoma and invasive cervical cancer have been identified as AIDS-related cancers, but small studies have also revealed an increased incidence of other malignant diseases in patients with HIV. Using New York AIDS and cancer registries, Brian Gallagher and colleagues at the New York State Department of Health compared 1981-1994 cancer rates of 122,993 people with AIDS with those of the general state population. Overall, 12,698 people with AIDS were diagnosed with cancer during this time period, 88.7% of whom were male and 11.3% of whom were female. Among the 10,083 men with AIDS and cancer, 84.6% were diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 49, 77.9% were non-black, 22.1% were black, 76.6% were men who had sex with men or MSM combined with injection drug users and 17.7% were IDUs. Among the women, 86.1% were diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 49, 55.2% were non-black, 44.8% were black, 53.8% were IDUs, and 31.5% were women who had heterosexual contact. Researchers calculated the sex and HIV risk group-specific standardized incidence ratios (SIRs), post-AIDS relative risks and trends of relative risks to determine cancer risk of the AIDS group.
AIDS-Related Cancer and Non-AIDS-Related Cancer Risks
The risks for AIDS-related cancers in people with AIDS compared to the general population were as follows:
- Kaposi's sarcoma: 97.5 times higher in men and 202.7 times higher in women;
- non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: 37.4 times higher in men and 54.6 times higher in women;
- invasive cervical cancer: 9.1 times higher in women.
- tongue (male, 1.8; female, 7.1);
- gum and other mouth (male, 1.9; female, 11.1);
- rectum, rectosigmoid and anus (male, 3.3; female, 3.0);
- larynx (male, 1.9; female, 5.9);
- trachea, bronchus, and lung (male, 3.3; female, 7.5);
- skin, excluding Kaposi's sarcoma (male, 20.9; female, 7.5);
- brain and central nervous system (male, 3.1; female, 3.4);
- Hodgkin's disease (male, 8.0; female, 6.4);
- multi-myeloma (male, 2.7; female, 7.2).
- pharynx (2.0);
- stomach (1.8);
- liver (5.1);
- testis (1.5);
- endocrine gland (3.8);
- connective tissue in men (5.6);
- esophagus in women (8.7);
- leukemias in women (6.1).