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Psoriasis and cancer: What’s the link?
- By Dominic Wu, MD, Contributing Editor
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
The advice on ways to reduce your risk of cancer is so vague as to be, well, not much use.
Quit smoking. Most of us with the illness don’t smoke, either never did or quit long ago.
Reduce drinking. Likewise, mostly we drink little or not at all anyway.
Moderate exercise. If I already do a little more than ‘moderate’ exercise does that mean I need to reduce to moderate, or what?
Well balanced diet. I don’t think many doctors, nor patients, nor journalists know what that is. There are a dozen different theories on what is a ‘good’ diet. If the writer had some proven specifics that would be good. Otherwise, why be so vague when it means precisely nothing.
How come the researchers didnt differentiate between those psoriasis patients using drugs that could cause cancer, and those that didnt. Or did they differentiate, but it didnt make it into this report?
Thank you for your comment. The purpose of this report was to shine light on this recent article from JAMA Dermatology describing the link between psoriasis and cancer. Unfortunately, this report could not go into much detail about potential ways to reduce your risk of cancer. Furthermore, as this described link between psoriasis and cancer still needs further research, there are no clear answers about specific ways to reduce this risk of developing cancer.
The advice above mainly are previously-described modifiable risk factors when it comes to a person’s overall health. As you already know, smoking increases the risk of developing cancer significantly, and although you are not a smoker, not all patients with psoriasis are the same. These links between psoriasis and metabolic syndrome, smoking, and ETOH use are associations described in the current scientific literature, and does not always apply to every individual.
Although I am unable to describe these lifestyle modifications in detail as that is beyond the scope of this report, I would invite you to visit other reports on Harvard Health that specifically speak about these healthy habits in detail. For exercise: https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/exercise-and-fitness. For specific recommendations on healthy eating, please visit: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/whats-new-in-nutritional-guidelines. I hope these links can provide much more detail for what you are looking for.
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