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Psoriasis May Increase Cancer Risk

A common skin condition may signal a stronger likelihood for a person to develop a number of potentially serious forms of cancer. Researchers have found a link between the development of lung and non-melanoma skin cancer and lymphoma with psoriasis. The elevated risks for those three particular forms of cancer were detected in a recent study of nearly 200,000 psoriasis patients. Links to other forms of cancer were also found, but the increased risk was only slightly elevated.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that essentially involves changes in the life cycle of skin cells. The disease causes extra skin cells to form, which can leave the skin itchy, dry and red. Psoriasis is considered a long-term, chronic disease that can have periods of uncomfortable flare ups and periods of remission. The condition is considered inflammatory in nature.

Researchers did not necessarily delve into the mechanisms by which psoriasis increases cancer risks. they did, however, discover the risk was slightly higher for those with moderate to severe forms of the disease versus those with mild cases.

There are a wide variety of factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing various forms of cancer. The factors that can often be addressed by individuals include smoking, alcohol use, lack of physical activity, poor diet and obesity, among others. Other factors that put people at risk for cancer may include age, ethnicity, hereditary syndromes, chemical exposure and genetic mutations.

People who are concerned about their personal risk factors for cancer are urged to discuss the topic with their healthcare providers. A personal physician will be best capable of assessing individual risk and outlining any lifestyle modifications that could be made to lower the risks. In addition, a personal doctor is best positioned to recommend routine screenings and other procedures meant to help detect cancer in its earliest stages. Further study on the link between psoriasis and certain forms of cancer is needed, but those with this condition may also want to discuss the potential for elevated risk with their healthcare providers.

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