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[2 min read] Is psoriasis associated with increased risk of skin cancer?
Is psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis associated with an increased risk of cancer? A recent review looked at the association and risk of cancer in patients with these conditions.
The review – published in February 2020 in JAMA Dermatology – evaluated 112 studies which included more than two million patients, measuring for prevalence, incidence, and risk of cancer in patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
The overall prevalence of cancer in patients with psoriasis was 4.78% (95% CI, 4.02%-5.59%), with an incidence rate of 11.75 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 8.66-15.31) and a risk ratio (RR) of 1.21 (95% CI, 1.11-1.33). There was an increased risk of several cancers, including keratinocyte cancer (RR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.73-3.01), lymphomas (RR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.37-1.78), lung cancer (RR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13-1.40), and bladder cancer (RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.19). No increased risk of cancer for patients with psoriasis treated with biologic agents was found (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.85-1.10). Psoriatic arthritis was not associated with increased risk of cancer overall (RR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.97-1.08).
In short, the review found that patients with psoriasis appear to have a slightly increased risk of developing cancers.
The risk of cancer overall was slightly increased in patients with psoriasis, particularly the risks of keratinocyte cancer and lymphomas. No increase in cancer was seen among patients with psoriasis treated with biologic agents, and psoriatic arthritis was not associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Data on cancer in patients with psoriatic arthritis remain scarce, and further research is warranted in this area.
Learn more about skin cancer medicine in primary care at the next Skin Cancer Certificate Courses.