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Our immune system is one of our most important defenses: we inherently rely on it to protect us against foreign invaders of our body. Therefore, it is ironic that our immune system can possibly work against our own body, putting us at risk for other more dangerous diseases, such as cancer.

A new study by Dr. Hjalmar Wadström of the Department of Medicine Solna at Karolinska Institutet and her team has found a link between cervical cancer and lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system fails to recognize the difference between healthy cells in the body from other invaders, such as bacteria, and attacks the healthy cells. Whereas lupus itself is already dangerous, this study by Dr. Wadström has shown that people who have lupus are more at risk for developing cervical cancer.

 It is important to be on the lookout for and protect against cervical cancer, especially if you have lupus.

Image Source: Peter Dazeley

Dr. Wadström and her team took records from the National Patient Register in Sweden and compared it to the Swedish National Cervical Screening Registry and the Swedish Cancer Registry. The rates of women with lupus were compared with those of invasive cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia, which is the abnormal growth of cells along the cervix caused most commonly by the human papillomavirus. A significant correlation was found. Those with lupus had twice the risk of developing cancer than those without. Furthermore, people on immunosuppressant medication had an even greater risk, as the immune system cannot fight against possible developing cancer cells with this medication. This discovery reinforces the importance of screening for cervical cancer for women with lupus, whether they are on immunosuppressant medication or not.

The symptoms for lupus include pain in joints, swelling, rashes, and mouth ulcers. If you see any signs of these symptoms, it is imperative to seek a physician to find out your options and control the spread of lupus before it leads to more dangerous consequences. After all, early detection and prevention is key.

Feature Image Source: :”Cancer Cells”..byScitechnol Publisher

 

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