RA, rheumatoid arthritis, is a disease that affects the cells around the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis involves a lot of pain but in the advanced stages can also mean immobility because in time, the tissues around the joints are deteriorating.
Not affecting the tissues around the joints, but the lymphatic tissues, lymphoma is a type of cancer that leads to weak immunity for the human body and affects the lymph nodes. The white cells, especially the plasma ones can't end their mission of locating and destroying antigens or foreign materials because of the malignant or lymphoma lymphocytes that divide and enlarge the lymph nodes or other organs like stomach or intestines.
Is being well known that lymphoma makes more victims around men who past the age of 60, while rheumatoid arthritis chooses women. Trying to determine a connection between these two diseases we can easily figure out that the risks for a person to have both these diseases are low.
After further research scientists obtained a conclusion quite different from what we had imagined earlier. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have chances to develop lymphoma. Their chances grow with their stage of disease. For a low degree rheumatoid arthritis patients the risk of developing lymphoma is not so high, but for those with a moderate or high level of rheumatoid arthritis the chances to develop this type of cancer are real high.
Archive notes tell us that in the last 30 years a insignificant percentage of rheumatoid arthritis patients suffered from lymphoma, being counted a number of less than 400 patients.
Patients with a very severe form of rheumatoid arthritis risk to develop lymphoma more than the other cases.
Most of all, the later studies show us that the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis has no connection with the development of lymphoma. The study was made over a rheumatoid arthritis specific treatment including methotrexate, oral steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.
Despite this study we can still hear opinions about the connections between rheumatoid arthritis treatment and the development of lymphoma, as a consequence.
Perhaps we have to take these opinions seriously, even though the two diseases rheumatoid arthritis and lymphoma refer to different types of patients, because both of them affect tissues and stop the white cells to take care of the immune system. That's why patients with moderate or severe rheumatoid arthritis should talk to a specialist that could help them reduce the risks of lymphoma.