Cancer testing rates high in people with RA
Previous estimates have indicated that patients who have rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to receive cancer testing than the general public, despite the fact that they have much higher rates of tumors.
Previous estimates have indicated that patients who have rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to receive cancer testing than the general public, despite the fact that they have much higher rates of tumors. But new research indicates that this may not be the case.
A team of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston analyzed the medical records of more than 230,000 adults. The results showed that participants who had RA were just as likely to receive testing for colon, breast and cervical cancer as those without the disease.
"Early detection of common cancers can improve morbidity and mortality rates in those with chronic illnesses, such as RA," said lead researcher Seoyoung C. Kim. "Cancer screening tests are important in detecting malignancies at early stages for both chronically ill and healthy populations."
The findings are encouraging, but more work could be done to educate people who have RA and require a prescription to buy Celebrex about their risk of cancer and other health complications, the researchers said.
In fact, given the elevated risk of cancer among this group, testing rates could stand to be higher than in the general population.
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