Do MS patients have a lower cancer risk?

Do MS patients have a lower cancer risk?

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) could be at a lower risk of cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health investigated whether the different roles the immune system plays in both cancer and MS affected the relationship between the two.

Dr Elaine Kingwell, lead author of the study, stated: "Not only did MS patients have a lower overall cancer risk, the risk for colorectal cancer in particular was significantly lower."

The discovery was made when Dr Kingwell and her team compared the diagnosis of cancer in MS patients with those free of MS.

Overall, cancer risk was reduced - except for brain and bladder cancers, which were slightly elevated.

Those with relapsing-onset MS were also at a greater risk of melanoma skin cancer.

According to the study, more research is needed into the reasons behind these findings.

This will also be vital in creating a better understanding of how the immune system works, yielding possible new treatment pathways for both conditions.

Read about Barchester expertise in offering multiple sclerosis support.