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Erin asked...

Tags: arthritis , muscles

I have had Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis since I was 7 and have been on manny treatments to try and control the disease.

My arthritis is very aggressive so it's needed very strong treatments to try and keep it at bay. Many of these treatments have side effects of increased risks of cancers, I have been on around 20 different treatments over the years that have this side effect and I'm now coming up 18 next year.

Should I be tested of cancer or be monitored for any symptoms regularly? Cancer has effected my grandparents and other family members too.

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The Answer

 Dear Erin,

As I am sure you are aware that all medications carry some risk of various side effects. Patients who are on drugs with a significant risk will be monitored regularly. Blood tests are often taken to check that everything is as it should be. 

If you feel you are at a greater risk due to family history, you should discuss this with your GP. He may feel that more regular screening will be beneficial in your case. I would also suggest you have the standard regular screening such as cervical smear when prompted by your surgery.

I understand your concerns and can only reassure you that with good healthcare all risks can be managed. We wish you well.

Answered by our Health at Hand nurses

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