Most of us would like to believe that arthritis and cancer have no link with one another. But there are several ways arthritis is linked to cancer. One is a chronic inflammation of the joints and the other an unchecked spread of malignant cells. However, many recent studies have pointed to a link among people with arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, with a greater risk for certain types of cancer. The risk is apparently higher during the first few years after diagnosis.
Few studies have revealed that people with Rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to develop certain types of cancer. But when they do get those forms of cancer, the symptoms and the prognosis both tend to be harsher. Specifically, in people with RA, the overall risk for gastrointestinal, liver, breast and colon cancers is lower. But when one of these cancers afflict people with RA, the death rate is significantly higher.
Experts suspect several factors to this, some you can control and are out of our control. We have listed 7 ways that arthritis may lead to cancer. Read to find out how you can avoid certain paths purely by personal initiative.
Below are the 7 ways arthritis is linked to cancer.
Medications are very ironic. Some of the medications given to patients for treating rheumatoid arthritis are known to increase the risk of cancer risk. Similarly, few cancer medicines are linked to the development of arthritis. There are a few drugs available that are used to treat both problems.
Some of the drugs in question are Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) meds, Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories(NSAIDs), and corticosteroid injections. Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARD) have been associated with cancers of the urinary tract and bladder, as well as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. There are still some doubts about this link, but always make sure you ask your doctor about the cancer risk before starting any new arthritis medication.