BACKGROUND. The incidence rates of melanoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) have increased substantially worldwide over the past several decades. It has been hypothesized that ultraviolet light exposure through sunlight may be a common environmental risk factor shared by both skin cancer and NHL. OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to better understand the association between skin cancer and NHL and to evaluate its implication in clinical practice. METHODS. We reviewed the current literature on the link between the two malignancies and on the role of ultraviolet light in the development of NHL. Publications were selected using a PUBMED search with the terms "non-Hodgkin's lymphoma" and "skin cancer." Epidemiologic studies in English and published after 1995 were the focus. CONCLUSIONS. Large population-based studies support an increased risk of subsequent NHL among patients with skin cancers (both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers) and a risk of skin cancer development in patients with NHL, although support for a direct relationship between ultraviolet light and the incidence of NHL is weak and inconsistent. Given their increased risk of developing skin cancers, patients with a history of NHL may benefit from a full-body examination during their visits.
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