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Psoriasis Linked to Increased Risk of Lymphoma

Those with skin disease three times more likely to get cancer, study finds

MONDAY, Nov. 17, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- People with psoriasis may face an increased risk of developing lymphoma, a group of cancers affecting the tissues found mainly in the lymph nodes and spleen.

The University of Pennsylvania study, published in the November issue of The Archives of Dermatology, found people with psoriasis had a threefold increased rate of lymphoma compared to people without psoriasis.

The researchers studied a random sample of 10 percent of patients aged 65 or older (2,718 with psoriasis and 105,203 without) included in the General Practice Research Database in the United Kingdom.

The study found people with psoriasis developed an additional 122 lymphomas per 100,000 patients each year compared to those without psoriasis.

"Additional studies are necessary to determine if the increased rate of lymphoma is related to psoriasis severity, psoriasis treatment or an interaction between these risk factors," the study authors write.

Psoriasis is a common skin disease that causes patches of thickened, red and scaly skin, usually on the arms or torso. The disease can be painful and, in some cases, cause disfigurement. Psoriasis affects about 1 percent to 2 percent of the population.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about lymphoma.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives, news release, Nov. 17, 2003
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