Several studies suggest that psoriasis is linked with an increased risk of certain cancers, including non-melanoma skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This heightened risk might be due, in part, to chronic inflammation associated with psoriasis. Because the severity of the psoriasis is one of the factors that links the skin disease to the development of certain cancers, those with very mild psoriasis may not be at risk.
Inflammation-fighting drugs known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor agents used in the treatment of psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases work by suppressing the immune system, leading some to come with a warning about increased lymphoma. Psoriasis therapies such as phototherapy, cyclosporine, and methotrexate may also increase the risk. This increased risk is relatively modest, but psoriasis patients may want to be more diligent than they already are about undergoing skin-cancer screening and being on the lookout for symptoms of lymphoma. New treatments for skin cancer are appearing and evolving rapidly in recent years.
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