Patients with multiple sclerosis have a higher risk of cancer

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Patients with multiple sclerosis have a higher risk of cancer according to recently published study. The risks are particularly high for cancers linked to the respiratory and urinary organs and the central nervous system.

Some diseases can cause others. Patients with multiple sclerosis would be more likely to develop cancer, compared to non-sufferers. According to a research, revealed at the 5th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, the overall risk of cancer is 14% higher in people with multiple sclerosis.

More specifically, they are 66% more likely to develop cancer related to the respiratory organs, 52% more likely to suffer from cancer impacting the central nervous system and 51% the urinary system.

This research is based on data from 6,883 Norwegians born between 1930 and 1979 in multiple sclerosis and cancer registries. Nearly 9,000 siblings of people with this neurodegenerative disease were also included in the panel. “This study is the first to compare the risk of cancer associated with multiple sclerosis to that of brothers or sisters of the patient,” explains Nina Grytten, the main author of the research. “The comparison of the level of risk between these two groups is very interesting because they share the same genes and the same environmental conditions.”

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The researchers found that among siblings of patients, the risk of haematological cancer is higher compared to the general population and people with multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Patients are usually struck by “flare-ups” that can cause visual disturbances, motor problems or even coordination problems. In the United States, it affects about 400,000 patients according to the Foundation for the support of research on multiple sclerosis. Today, no treatment can cure the disease, but others exist to slow its evolution.


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