Long standing RA and skin cancer

mermaid
mermaid Member Posts: 104
edited 28. May 2017, 05:04 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello,
I don't usually post a question but recent events have got me wondering how common this is.
I have long standing severe RA (45 years) and had over 25 surgeries and obviously many drug treatments during this time, including 15 years of biologics.
I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma 19 months ago which was moderate risk for recurrence, so treated by surgery and now monitored by 3 monthly checks and 6 monthly full body CT scans. I feel well looked after.
Since then 5 basal skin carcinomas have been removed and one currently being treated by radiotherapy (on the nose, no hiding it!)
I just wondered if there was a connection with autoimmune diseases or it is the treatment as suggested by oncologist.
I have never been a sun worshipper or sun bed user.
Trouble is we need some treatment for RA. I'm currently just on prednisolone and am steroid dependent. Rituximab has helped me enormously previously.
Anyone else have similar? Not worried, just interested.

Hope you are all doing OK on this very sad day for Manchester and all those concerned. My heart goes out to them all.

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I am sorry to read this, melanoma is increasingly common and may not be linked to the RA as such but could certainly be linked to the medications; many of them increase our photosensitivity so, no matter how careful we are about sitting in the shade etc. we should still wear a high factor sun cream and limit our exposure. My Ma was a sun-lover and she too had a rogue mole removed from the side of her nose (ouch!), I never have been but I don't regard myself as being risk-free due to the meds I take.

    I hope things progress well for you, the monitoring sounds excellent and it's good you are feeling cared for. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think we're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. As far as I can ascertain there is a link but whether it's the RA or the meds is a bit less certain.

    Personally, I had breast cancer about 25 years into my RA but before I'd had any 'proper' DMARDS (Only gold injections and penicillamine). I've been on meth and hydroxy for about 17 years and, although I'm currently waiting for a dermatology appointment re what is probably a rodent ulcer (basal cell carcinoma) I've no idea if the RA or meds played a part. Mr SW has had two of these removed and has no autoimmune diseases. Like you, I don't 'do' sunshine (especially after some horrible blistery, itchy rashes with the now withdrawn NSAID, Opren) but, as a child in the '50's, I probably got plenty of sun.

    I found this article on a reliable site but I don't really think it takes us much further. http://tinyurl.com/k9h8rlp I fully agree that we need the meds. I'd do the same again any day.

    I hope all continues to go reasonably well for you and the regular monitoring keeps coming up with negative results.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you very much both of you. I know BCCs are so common and I was always the kid with the freckles and peeling nose as no SPF factor back then! Probably with the checks they are finding lots which have been there for ages, none of them are moles. I was so ignorant about the whole thing, last thing I thought of.

    Melanoma is the one they are concerned about as it was quite aggressive, hence the regular CT scans. Hopefully it doesn't go to stage 4 as they have explained that immunotherapy is very difficult for RA patients - oncologist said that the treatment for each disease accelerates the other. I will just go with the flow and keep positive.

    Hopefully Sticky you have remained in remission from your BC? I do hope so. Hope your derm appointment goes well.

    Keep well and take care everyone, wish everyone could be as lucky - sure you know what I mean tonight.

    xxxxxx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm sure you will, indeed, stay positive, mermaid. You're very good at that.

    Thanks for your good wishes. I don't actually see myself as being 'in remission' these days. As far as I'm concerned that was then and it's all over and done with. Mind you, I just had my routine mammogram last Monday so maybe I shouldn't speak too soon :lol:
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's so good to hear Sticky, hope last Monday's mammogram results were good, fingers xxxx for you.