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Psoriasis Doesn’t Increase Cancer Risk

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A study found that having psoriasis does NOT increase risk for a variety of cancers, including breast cancer.

Psoriasis causes patches of itchy, red, and scaly skin, usually on the elbows, knees, scalp and torso. Psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system, which triggers inflammation and itching in the body. This inflammation also can involve the joints and cause related arthritis.

The immune system is usually good at finding and killing cells that might become cancer. Cancers start when a cell develops a genetic abnormality that makes the cell reproduce uncontrollably. Cell abnormalities regularly happen in everyone and the immune system usually takes care of them. When the immune system doesn't work as it should -- as in people diagnosed with psoriasis -- it's possible that the extra inflammation could increase the risk of cell abnormalities. If the immune system isn't working properly, it also might not be able to find all the cells that could possibly become cancer. But this doesn't seem to happen in people with psoriasis.

Stay tuned to breastcancer.org to learn about the latest research on the links between health, diet, and lifestyle factors, and breast cancer risk.

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