Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist

Can psoriasis cause cancer?

Key Takeaway Table

Question Answer
Does psoriasis cause cancer? No, psoriasis does not directly cause cancer.
Can people with psoriasis have an increased risk of developing certain cancers? Yes, studies have shown that people with psoriasis may have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, including lymphoma, lung cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancer.
What is the exact link between psoriasis and cancer? The exact link between psoriasis and cancer is unknown, but it is thought to be related to chronic inflammation and the use of certain psoriasis treatments.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It is characterized by red, scaly patches that can appear anywhere on the body. While psoriasis is not contagious, it can be a frustrating and debilitating condition.

One of the most common questions people with psoriasis ask is whether their condition can increase their risk of developing cancer. The answer is not simple, but research suggests that there may be a link between psoriasis and certain types of cancer.

What the Research Says

Several studies have found an association between psoriasis and an increased risk of developing cancer. For example, a 2016 review of 17 studies found that people with psoriasis had a 40% higher risk of developing lymphoma than people without psoriasis. Another study, published in 2019, found that people with psoriasis had an increased risk of developing lung cancer, non-melanoma skin cancer, and several other types of cancer.

Why Is There a Link Between Psoriasis and Cancer?

The exact reason why psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of cancer is unknown. However, there are several possible explanations:

  • Chronic inflammation: Psoriasis is characterized by chronic inflammation of the skin. This inflammation can damage cells and DNA, which can increase the risk of cancer.
  • Immune system suppression: Some psoriasis treatments, such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, suppress the immune system. This can make it more difficult for the body to fight off cancer cells.
  • Shared genetic risk factors: Some of the genes that increase the risk of psoriasis also increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk?

While there is no way to completely eliminate your risk of developing cancer, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk:

  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is a major risk factor for skin cancer. Be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days.
  • See your doctor regularly: Regular checkups with your doctor can help detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.

Conclusion

While psoriasis does not directly cause cancer, people with psoriasis may have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. If you have psoriasis, it is important to be aware of your increased risk and take steps to reduce it. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and develop a plan to stay healthy.

Can psoriasis cause cancer

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.