Potential Cancer Risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis

While the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on joint health are extensively documented, recent research has illuminated a potential association between rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, introducing a new aspect to comprehending this intricate disease. (1 Trusted Source
Risk of cancer for patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that primarily affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, stiffness, and potential deformity over time. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues, primarily targeting the synovium, the lining of the joints. This chronic inflammation leads to joint damage and, if left untreated, can result in disability.

Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cancer Risk Factors

“While the exact reasons for this association are not fully understood, several factors chronic inflammation, immune Dysfunction, common risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, and genetic predisposition,” Dr Vijay Ramanan, Sr. Consultant Clinical Haematologist, Bone Marrow & Stem Cell Transplant, Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune told IANS. Types of cancer associated with rheumatoid arthritis include Lymphoma, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lung and skin cancer.

According to a recent study published in the Lancet Regional Health, compared to the general population, treated rheumatoid arthritis patients were at greater risk of all-cancer and some site specific cancers, except for breast, pancreatic and endometrial cancers which were less frequent than in the general population.

Dr Ramanan said that while the risk is relatively modest, proactive measures can help mitigate.He suggested regular screening tests like mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, and skin exams to detect cancer at an early, more treatable stage.Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco use, can also help reduce the risk of cancer and improve overall well-being.


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