PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

Does rheumatoid arthritis increase the odds of having cancer?

ANSWER

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) itself increases your odds of getting some types of cancer, like lymphoma. Scientists looked into whether RA drugs play a role in that increased risk. They found that chronic inflammation, not medication, is probably to blame. Some biologics may even keep cancer at bay because they keep inflammation in check.

From: Do RA Drugs Cause Cancer? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation: “Arthritis and Cancer Risk,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment.”

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases : “Risk of Lymphoma in Patients Exposed to Antitumour Necrosis

Factor Therapy: results from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register for Rheumatoid Arthritis,” “Risk of Invasive Melanoma in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Biologics.”

American College of Rheumatology: “Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo),” “TNF Inhibitors.”

Medscape: “Anti-TNF Medications Linked to Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients,” “Biologics and Cancer Risk in RA: A Treatment Guide.”

Arthritis Research & Therapy : “The Risk of Cancer in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Taking Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonists: a nationwide cohort study.”

JAMA : “Risk of malignancies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with biologic therapy: a meta-analysis.”

Rheumatology : “The Incidence of Cancer in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and a Prior Malignancy Who Receive TNF Inhibitors or Rituximab: results from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register-Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Arthritis & Rheumatology : “Incidence of Melanoma and Other Malignancies Among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Treated with Methotrexate.”  

JAMA Dermatology: “Risk of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Associated With the Use of Immunosuppressant and Biologic Agents in Patients With a History of Autoimmune Disease and Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 17, 2019

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation: “Arthritis and Cancer Risk,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment.”

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases : “Risk of Lymphoma in Patients Exposed to Antitumour Necrosis

Factor Therapy: results from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register for Rheumatoid Arthritis,” “Risk of Invasive Melanoma in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Biologics.”

American College of Rheumatology: “Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo),” “TNF Inhibitors.”

Medscape: “Anti-TNF Medications Linked to Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients,” “Biologics and Cancer Risk in RA: A Treatment Guide.”

Arthritis Research & Therapy : “The Risk of Cancer in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Taking Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonists: a nationwide cohort study.”

JAMA : “Risk of malignancies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with biologic therapy: a meta-analysis.”

Rheumatology : “The Incidence of Cancer in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and a Prior Malignancy Who Receive TNF Inhibitors or Rituximab: results from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register-Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Arthritis & Rheumatology : “Incidence of Melanoma and Other Malignancies Among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Treated with Methotrexate.”  

JAMA Dermatology: “Risk of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Associated With the Use of Immunosuppressant and Biologic Agents in Patients With a History of Autoimmune Disease and Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 17, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What type of drugs are at the heart of the cancer question?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: