Common arthritis linked to higher cancer risk

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and swelling of the joints.

Patients often experience tender, warm, swollen joints; joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity; and fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite.

In a new study, researchers found that rheumatoid arthritis is strongly linked to higher cancer risk.

The research was conducted by a team from TTSH Rheumatoid Arthritis Study Group in Singapore.

In the study, the team analyzed 1117 patients in the prospective Tan Tock Seng Hospital from 2001 to 2013. The development of cancer after their rheumatoid arthritis was monitored.

The team found that compared to the general population, the arthritis patients were more likely to develop cancer of the lymph nodes.

In men arthritis patients, the lung cancer risk was higher. In women arthritis patients, the cervical cancer risk was higher compared with the general population.

The findings suggest that people with rheumatoid arthritis need to be aware of their increased cancer risk and take actions to prevent cancer.

In addition, doctors need to monitor the patients carefully to detect cancer development in the early stages.

The lead author of the study is Xin Rong Lim from the Department of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

The study is published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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