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March 1978

Relationship Between Arsenic Intake and Internal Malignant Neoplasms

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology and the Danish Cancer Registry (Drs Reymann and Møller), Finsen Institute, and the University of Copenhagen (Mr Nielsen), Copenhagen.

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(3):378-381. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640150014004

• An attempt has been made to assess the carcinogenic effect of arsenic intake by analyzing a group of patients who were treated with arsenic for various skin diseases in the 1930s. When compared with the expected incidence of malignant internal neoplasms, based on figures obtained from the Danish Cancer Registry, a significant increase in the incidence of internal malignant neoplasms was observed in females with multiple basal cell carcinomas. A group comprising 53 patients with arsenic keratoses presented a considerable increase in the incidence of internal malignant neoplasms. However, these patients were so specifically selected that no regular statistical analysis can be made of this group. It may be said that arsenic has a carcinogenic effect even in the relatively small doses applied in dermatological therapy.

(Arch Dermatol 114:378-381, 1978)