This article is part of MPR’s coverage of the CHEST Virtual 2020 meeting.

In patients with sarcoidosis, cancer was found to develop earlier in men vs women, according to study results presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting 2020, held virtually October 18 to 21.

With this study, investigators sought to examine whether sarcoidosis was associated with the subsequent occurrence of malignancies. The charts of 100 patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis, as determined on biopsies, between 2007 and 2017 were reviewed. Data examined included demographic information, time of diagnosis for sarcoidosis and initial malignancy, and type of malignancy (by organ system).

Of 100 patients, malignancies developed in 53 following sarcoidosis diagnosis (51% men). The average time between sarcoidosis diagnosis and cancer occurrence was 6±0.91 years in the entire cohort, and was shorter in men vs women (3.6 years vs 8.6 years, respectively; P =.005). Malignancies in the renal system (average, 22.5 years) were found to occur at a later time after sarcoidosis diagnosis in men than thyroid (mean, 0.000 year), gastrointestinal (mean, 2.000 years), hematologic (mean, 7.000 years), and skin (mean, 1.333 years) cancers (P <.05 for all). The mean occurrence of malignancy after sarcoidosis diagnosis was comparable for all types of cancer groups examined in women (P <.5) and across ethnicities (P =.8).

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“Sarcoidosis is a poorly understood inflammatory disease and patients who develop new lesions are often assumed to have a disease ‘flare,’ so biopsies are delayed. Since [men with] sarcoidosis appear to develop malignancies earlier than [women], physicians should consider if earlier cancer screening or biopsy of suspicious lesions should be offered for this patient population,” noted the study authors.

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Sawal N, Al Khalisy H, Mukherjee S, Habib G, Martinez-Balzano C. Cancer and sarcoidosis: an analysis of time to malignancy in sarcoidosis. Presented at: the CHEST Virtual Annual Meeting 2020; October 18-21, 2020. Abstract 1178.

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor