A recent study has found that Parkinson's disease can increase a person's risk of developing certain types of cancers. Using a Utah genealogic database and a state-wide cancer registry, researchers examined the relationship between Parkinson's disease and cancer and found that the likelihood of prostate cancer and melanoma is increased in patients with the neurological condition. Relatives of those with Parkinson's disease were also identified as being at risk of cancer. The findings follow several studies that have noted similar pathogenic mechanisms in cancer and Parkinson's disease. Proving the link will open up the possibility that drugs used to treat the individual conditions may be inter-changeable. It also increases the understanding of both illnesses and their development. The authors concluded: "These studies provide a framework for future definition of the precise nature of shared genetic variation leading to neurodegeneration in some individuals, but skin or prostate cancers in others, and they may influence strategies for skin and prostate cancer screening." Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.