7 Cancer Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Health & Insurance----A person suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) was also at risk of suffering from some certain types of cancer. This can occur due to treatment or due to inflammation caused by this disease. However, you need not worry too much about this because the stakes are fairly low. Things you need to do is remain vigilant and not have to feel too anxious.

"The risk of all this is very, very low. When you see the number of events, relative risk seen higher, but the actual risk is very low," said Stanley Cohen, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease characterized progressive inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that is rarely found in Indonesia, with a prevalence of about 0.1 to 0.3 percent in adulthood.

This disease can actually affect all ages, but the risk would be increased in adult age, where women are among a greater risk that is up to 3 to 4 fold.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is also often called the thief of life because of its impact extraordinary, ranging from losses from the economic side, discomfort, disability, disability and death. Joint damage usually occurs in the first six months of this disease and disability will occur 2 to 3 years when not being treated.

According to Cohen, individuals who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis have also been associated with risk (lower) experienced some type of cancer the following:

1. Lung cancer
RA has been associated with risk of lung cancer. Research shows people with RA (smokers) are at higher risk of lung cancer. Although it is known, in people with RA non-smokers also have an increased risk of lung cancer (smaller).

"By not smoking, the numbers will be very small. But still there is a higher risk because of inflammation and scarring in the lungs caused by RA," said Marc Hochberg, MD, MPH, chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore.

2. Skin cancer
Research shows that melanoma - the most dangerous type of skin cancer - more common in people who use TNF inhibitor drugs, possibly because these drugs suppress the immune system.

A 2007 study found that people with RA using TNF inhibitors have twice the risk of suffering from melanoma, rather than RA patients not taking TNF.

3. Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a relatively rare form of cancer - which affects white blood cells called plasma cells. According to research in 2008, people with RA seem to have a slightly higher risk (17 percent) had myeloma.

Dr. Hochberg said, people suffering from RA for long periods of time can produce antibodies that are associated with an excess of protein in the blood, a condition called hyperglobulinemia. This can sometimes develop into multiple myeloma, a disease characterized by the abnormal production of plasma cells.

4. Lymphoma
Lymphoma is a cancer (malignant) of the lymphatic system (lymph nodes). Two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin's Lymphoma (more often called Hodgkin's Disease) and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

A 2003 study involving more than 76,000 RA patients in Sweden found, they have 2-3 times higher risk of suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease than people without RA. In addition, a 2006 study found that people with the most severe symptoms of RA are at highest risk of suffering from lymphoma.

5. Leukemia
A Finnish study of nearly 12,000 men and 35,000 women found a higher risk of leukemia in men with RA, but no significant increase in women with RA.

Dr. Hochberg said the relationship between leukemia and RA and is a rather rare complication associated with immunosuppressive therapy such as Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) and Azasan (azathioprine), which is used to treat RA.

6. Breast and colorectal cancer
People who develop RA appear to have little advantage, because they turned out to have less risk of developing breast cancer and colorectal cancer, than those who do not suffer from RA.

According to Dr. Hochberg, not known exactly why this could occur. But perhaps because many RA patients are often taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or anti-pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, which contribute in preventing inflammation. This was allegedly able to reduce the risk of cancer.

7. Prostate Cancer
Long term use of NSAIDs (anti-pain medications) also may reduce the risk of death in men with RA who developed prostate cancer.

A study of nearly 100,000 prostate cancer patients in Sweden who served in the American Society of Clinical Oncology found that 12 percent reduced risk of death in men with RA than those without RA. Men who were hospitalized for treatment of RA is six times more likely to use NSAIDs, so it has the lowest mortality rates.

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