Do TNF Inhibitors Raise the Risk of Skin Cancer?

I received a tweet yesterday from Dr. Nathan Wei who reported on a recently completed study that showed that patients taking TNF inhibitors for RA had an increased risk of skin cancer.  You can find his video on it here.

Now the TNF inhibitors that RA patients take are exactly the same as what PsA patients take, so I’m pretty sure that once they get around to it that studies will show the same risk exists for PsA patients.  In fact, if you think about it there may be more of a risk for those who have psoriasis as well as PsA and are using UV light therapy to manage their psoriasis.  If you fit into this category then make sure you take good care of your skin, take some full body shots of yourself when naked so that if later you find any strange spots you can compare with those photos to see if they have changed size or shape (warning signs for skin cancer).

I also read an interesting article from the Life Extension organization regarding a recent study that showed a daily dose of aspirin reduces the risk of cancer.  Apparently they think that the aspirin helps to reduce chronic inflammation, which they believe is a precursor to cancer.  So maybe we should all start taking some low dose daily aspirin!

Be careful though, aspirin is a blood thinner which means one is more likely to bleed (and bruise) if taking it, and it takes longer for any bleeding to stop.  Check with you doctor before starting any medications (unless you are a reckless middle aged guy living in an Asian city where you can buy prescription meds OTC).

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