Watching out for cancer

The overall incidence of cancer after transplantation is low (less than 1 to 2 percent). However, the risk still exists, so it's wise to know the possibilities:

^ The antirejection drugs increase your risk for cancer, especially a form called posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). PTLD has the following characteristics:

• It's more common in patients under age 18.

• Caucasian males have a higher incidence than others.

• It can occur in a single site or multiple sites in the body.

• Treatment may require stopping the antirejection drugs.

^ Cervical cancer occurs more frequently after transplants and should be prevented by regular pelvic exams.

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