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Malignancy and rheumatic disorders

Yusuf Yazici, MD
Section Editor
Peter H Schur, MD
Deputy Editor
Paul L Romain, MD


Certain rheumatologic diseases are associated with an increased risk of malignancy. Included in this group are dermatomyositis, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, and systemic sclerosis [1,2]. On the other hand, some malignancies have rheumatologic symptoms and may present with joint, muscle, and soft tissue manifestations [1,3]. The malignancies that have the most frequent musculoskeletal findings are leukemias and lymphomas, but paraneoplastic syndromes also occur with solid tumors.

This topic will provide an overview of associations between the following:

Specific rheumatic diseases and malignant disorders

Specific malignant disorders and rheumatic or connective tissue diseases

Drugs used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases and their contribution to the risk of malignant disease


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Literature review current through: May 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 10, 2015.
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