The following is username and password:

Please wait for seconds

How does arthritis cause cancer?

How does arthritis cause cancer?

It may appear that arthritis and cancer have little in common, with one being a chronic inflammation of the joints and the other an uncontrollable spread of malignant cells. However, new research indicates that people with arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, are more likely to develop certain types of cancer. Surprisingly, the risk appears to be greatest in the first few years after diagnosis.

To add more nuance, study findings suggest that people with RA may be less likely to develop certain types of cancer. When they do get those types of cancer, the symptoms and prognosis are usually worse.

People with RA have a lower overall risk of breast, gastrointestinal, liver, and colon cancers. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for people with RA and these types of cancer is much higher.

Experts believe the link is due to a combination of factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and the use of arthritis medications. Some factors are under your control, while others are not. We have broken down 7 ways that arthritis may lead to cancer to help you do what you can and not worry about the rest. Several of these paths can be avoided solely through personal initiative, but #6 requires a health partner and may be more difficult to overcome.

1. Medications

How’s this for a slap in the face? It turns out that some rheumatoid arthritis medications raise your risk of cancer. Similarly, certain cancer treatments can cause arthritis. There are even a couple of medications that treat both conditions!

NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories), Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) medications, and corticosteroid injections are among the medications under consideration. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been linked to bladder and urinary tract cancers, as well as lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. There is some debate about this link, but before beginning any new arthritis medication, consult your doctor about an increased cancer risk.

2. Diet

A high-fat diet is directly linked to an unhealthy gut biome. In our digestive systems, we normally have a balance of good and bad bacteria. We become ill when the bad bacteria proliferate too much. Everything about our digestion and fuel use works better when we have a healthy population of good bacteria. Researchers are now learning that a chronically unhealthy gut biome can cause arthritis as well as cancer.

Feed your good bacteria a variety of prebiotic foods to achieve a better balance. Garlic, onions, bananas, apples, artichokes, and asparagus are examples. They contain a type of resistant starch, which is not directly digested by our bodies but instead feeds good bacteria, allowing it to thrive over bad bacteria.

3. Lifestyle

Dependence on alcohol and/or tobacco is a bad habit that can cause inflammation, the root cause of arthritis pain, and cancer. Of course, the link between tobacco use and cancer has long been known, but it is also a factor in the development and treatment of arthritis. As long as you smoke, you will harm your joints, connective tissue, and bones. Tobacco also reduces the effectiveness of arthritis medications.

Regular drinkers are more likely to develop cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, liver, and colorectal system. Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of developing gout, a type of arthritis characterized by the formation of hard crystals in the joints. A good rule of thumb is to limit women to one glass of alcohol per day and men to two.

4. Immune Reaction

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body misidentifies healthy tissue as a dangerous invader. Your immune system attacks those tissues in an attempt to heal them. It is a useful system if the tissue is truly dangerous, but in the case of RA, it is a case of misidentification.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes the immune system to attack the heart, eyes, bones, lungs, and skin in addition to the joints. This incorrect immune response has been linked to skin cancer, but damaged cells in general are vulnerable to other types of cancer.

5. Lower Activity

When your joints hurt, you may be hesitant to move around as much as you normally would. Your cardiovascular health will suffer if you skip workouts due to arthritis pain. Weight gain is also possible, which puts additional strain on joints and causes more inflammation. Allowing pain to lead to a sedentary lifestyle opens the door to cancer.

Your joints are the stiffest when you’ve been still for the longest time. To limit the impact of an arthritis diagnosis on your overall health, you must keep moving on a regular basis.

6. Misdiagnosis

Another possible source of concern is that your arthritis was misdiagnosed in the first place. Certain cancers, particularly those of the bones, can cause joint pain. However, if you have multiple risk factors for arthritis, this possibility may be overlooked. Keep a detailed journal of all your symptoms to assist your doctor in correctly diagnosing you.

If you believe an arthritis diagnosis was incorrect, you may need to advocate strongly for yourself. Unfortunately, medical professionals frequently provide biased care to overweight people. Doctors are prone to attributing every bodily ailment to weight without investigating further, but you know yourself best. While obesity is a risk factor for a variety of diseases, it cannot be assumed to cause everything.

7. Inflammation

Inflammation is the most common cause of pain in people with arthritis. It is an immune response that tries to separate a damaged part of the body from healthy parts of the body.

It can be beneficial in certain situations, such as a localized infection, but it becomes harmful when it becomes chronic and unnecessary. Chronic inflammation can damage DNA and lead to cancer over time.


If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, it is critical to understand that the disease, which has no cure, can serve as a stepping stone to other, more dangerous conditions. Cancer seeks out weak spots in the body, particularly cells damaged by chronic inflammation, and establishes itself there.

However, just because there is no cure does not mean that there is nothing that can be done. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits can improve not only your comfort but also the health of your digestive system.

Staying active and employing an ice-and-heat regimen can help to alleviate stiffness and pain. You may eventually require a prescription from your doctor for arthritis medication, but by first attempting natural remedies, you can reduce the amount you take.

Unfortunately, arthritis patients are at a higher risk of dying from cancer. But if you’re willing to make some lifestyle changes now, you don’t have to be a statistic.

Disclaimer: Any information published on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. You should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.