Author Topic: Sjogren's and Cancer - is there a connection?  (Read 1939 times)

ottawagirl

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Sjogren's and Cancer - is there a connection?
« on: September 05, 2008, 08:44:04 AM »
Hi everyone.
In the last 14 months, I've been diagnosed with Sjogrens, Celiac Disease, connective tissue disorder and now, non-invasive (they think) Breast Cancer.  I've also had an underactive thyroid for about 13 years.  Except for breast cancer, all of these are autoimmune disorders.  I'm taking medicine for Sjogrens and my thyroid and I've been on a gluten free diet for almost a year now.  I have an appointment with a surgeon next week to discuss the treatment for my breast cancer.  I've been told by my family doctor that I'll need surgery and radiation and possibly chemo.
I guess my question is, is a person with a compromised immune system more likely to develop cancer?  Also, once I'm cancer free, is there a chance that it may return?
Thanks for any input you can provide.
 :)

Scottietottie

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Re: Sjogren's and Cancer - is there a connection?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 08:55:36 AM »
Hi Ottowa Girl

I'm sorry to hear about your latest diagnoses. I'm pretty sure that one can't be blamed on SjS. There is a higher risk of lymphoma among Sjogren's patients - but although higher than non-SjS sufferers - it's still only a tiny number.

It sounds as though your doctors sound pretty positive about the treatment and there are hundreds and thousands of breast cancer survivors out there now. I hope you tolerate the treatment well and that it all goes smoothly. Do let us know how you are getting on - you know we're here for you.

Stay positive! That's meant to help a lot!

Take care - Scottie  :)
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irish

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Re: Sjogren's and Cancer - is there a connection?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 12:23:41 AM »
Believe it or not but people with screwed up autoimmune systems are at higher risk for cancers of all kinds. I don't know what the percentage is but it is true. My doctor is an immunologist and started out as a pediatric oncologist who was in charge of a bone marrow transplant unit for 7 years and also did a fellowship in hematology.

He watches for the cancers also. It seems that when the immune system loses its ability to pick and choose what is a good or bad cell etc and our body is trying to attack itself all these cells get a little wild and wooly. Thus the increase. It sounds like your docs have a plan of attack for the breast cancer. I don't know the statistics, but I think that having a positive outlook through out this whole "sick body" routine it the best thing we can do for ourselves. It stimulates the endorphins which help us fight off the illnesses and cancers. Exercise is good to increase endorphins also. Good luck. Irish ;D

ProudAuntieNWash

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Re: Sjogren's and Cancer - is there a connection?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2008, 01:25:49 AM »
Hi Ottawa Girl,

Nice to meet you. So sorry for your recent diagnosis. I was just thinking about cancer when you asked that question. And I agree that because our systems are all messed up, that is why the higher cancer.

Denise

PS This place here has great people and they are good listeners. We all have this strange weird screwed up disease that gets to us all at times.