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Do I have a higher risk of cancer with plaque psoriasis?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

You might. Research indicates that people who have plaque psoriasis are more likely to develop lymphoma or squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). However, these increased risks may be due to the fact that immune-suppressing therapies are commonly used as treatments for plaque psoriasis. Regardless, people with psoriasis should get annual cancer screenings. It is also prudent to avoid “Risky Business.” Meaning no smoking, drinking in excess, and sunbathing all day every day. You can still rock out, like Young Tom with no pants on, though. In fact, that sort of dancing around is encouraged. Being active and making other healthy lifestyle choices does you a lot of good.

 

 


Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine

Some journal studies link psoriasis with certain types of cancer such as  skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and lymphoma. It is also thought that these cancers may be linked to the  immunosuppressing treatments people take for psoriasis therapy.

Experts recommend that people with psoriasis have regular cancer screenings with their doctor and also avoid lifestyle habits that may increase the chance of cancer, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, and getting sun exposure. Working with your doctor, determine a prevention plan that will keep you cancer-free and also keep your psoriasis self-managed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.