"This study raises some very good points. It suggests that screening for viruses should be done, and that we should always be trying to use less immunosuppressants. It also raises the inclination to screen transplant recipients for tumors," Teperman said.
"This is an important paper, but I think it may overstate the risk. I think the risk of cancer is elevated, but it's probably less than seen here," he added.
For someone who's had a transplant or is waiting for one, Granger noted, "decrease the risk factors you can. Don't smoke. Follow good health practices. Wear sunscreen. And, if you've had a transplant, get the screenings your doctor recommends."
Learn more about post-transplant cancer from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
SOURCES: Eric Engels, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator, infections and epidemiology branch, division of cancer epidemiology and genetics, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Md.; Darla Granger, M.D., director, pancreatic transplantation program, St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit; Lewis Teperman, M.D., vice chair, department of surgery, and chief of transplant surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Nov. 2, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association
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