Psoriasis is no fun.
Like itchy, flared-up, sometimes bleeding skin, unsightly dried scales, red blotches, heavy dandruff and all the other horrible effects of psoriasis weren’t enough…
…now a new study published in JAMA Dermatology reveals that this skin condition also causes at least 11 types of cancer.
And we’re not talking small chances here. With one cancer the increase is 180%, with another 100%.
58 previous studies were used to calculate the increased likelihood that people with psoriasis will also develop some form of cancer.
They discovered that people with psoriasis were 18 to 22 percent more likely to develop cancer.
They also found an increased risk for a range of site-specific cancers:
1. 18 percent higher for colon cancer,
2. 34 percent higher for colorectal cancer,
3. 58 percent higher for kidney cancer,
4. 79 percent higher for laryngeal cancer,
5. 83 percent higher for liver cancer,
6. 40 percent higher for lymphoma,
7. 28 percent higher for non-Hodgkin lymphoma,
8. 71 percent higher for keratinocyte cancers,
9. 100 percent higher for esophageal cancer,
10. 180 percent higher for oral cavity cancers, and
11. 41 percent higher for pancreatic cancer.
Severe cases of psoriasis increased the sufferer’s risks of getting liver, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers; it also significantly reduced their chances of being able to survive the cancer.
Why is psoriasis such a cancer risk?
One explanation is inflammation can lead to cancer. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition. Previous studies also show that other inflammatory conditions, like Crohn’s disease, also increase the risk of developing cancer.
Another possibility is that some of the treatments used to fight against psoriasis, such as biological treatments and phototherapy, are carcinogenic.
Common drugs for psoriasis also suppress the immune systems, which could put people at greater risk.