Study shows lupus not a risk factor for breast cancer
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an inflammatory disease of unknown cause. It manifest when the body’s defense system attacks healthy and cells tissue instead of a virus or germs, causing damage to joints, skins, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and the brain.
There are periods where the disease manifests itself and other where there are no symptoms at all. Some of the symptoms are pain or swelling of the joints, muscular pain, unexplainable fever, reddish rash generally on the face, breast pair when breathing deeply, hair loss, pale or purple fingers and toes, sun sensibility, swelling of the legs or around the eyes, mouth ulcers, swelling of glands, and fatigue. Less frequent symptoms can be anemia, headaches, dizziness, and feelings of sadness, confusion, and seizures.
The prevalence can vary depending on population; though it is estimated that between 300 and 400 people out of every 100,000 suffer from this disease. Anyone can suffer from lupus, but it is more frequent on women. It is sustained that it is more common on certain ethnic groups. A factor that plays an important role is genetics.
Diagnose and treatment of this disease have improved recently. This has raised the rate of survival on patients. But still, with these improvements the life expectancy for people with this disease is lower than that of the general population. Researchers attribute this fact to other chronic diseases that people with lupus can suffer from, like those related to the immune system weakening, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, joint disease, and various types of cancer.
Various studies consider that people suffering from this disease have a higher risk of suffering from breast cancer; however, a meta-analysis performed to estimate how strong the association between lupus and breast cancer incidence is showed that breast cancer is present with the same probability on patients with lupus than the general population.
On said study there was an analysis of subgroups by type of study, ethnicity, follow-up years, sample size, and lupus diagnose criteria, but there was no risk involved either. The grouped relative risk of 18 studies analyzed was of 1.012 (95% CI, 0.797 – 1.284) with a Ι2 value equivalent to 94.35%, indicating substantial heterogeneity. With this meta-analysis, it was concluded that there is no direct association between Systemic lupus erythematosus and breast cancer.
Reviewers: Brenda Giselle Álvarez Rodríguez (Public Health Research Unit), and Cassandra Saldaña Pineda (Knowledge Management Unit).
- Rezaleyazdi, Z., Tabaei, S., Ravanshad, y et al. Clin Rheumatoi (2018). No association between the risk of breast cancer and systemic lupus erythematosus: evidence from a meta-analysis.
- Ariza, K., Isaza, P., Gaviria, A. M., y et al. (2010). Calidad de vida relacionada con la salud, factores psicológicos y fisiopatológicos en pacientes con diagnóstico de Lupus Eritematoso Sistémico – LES. Terapia psicológica, 28(1), 27-36.