I get emails from Multiple Sclerosis News Today as new news or blog posts are added.
I enjoy reading these, but last week there was news that made me feel very happy! A Multiple Sclerosis News Today mail came through with the heading Lifetime Cancer Risk Lower in MS Patients Than General Public, Study Reports. (Read the article here)
I got very excited on seeing this and clicked to read more. I had recently read and been worried that due to having a suppressed immune system, due to my disease modifying treatment, Tecfidera, I may be more susceptible to cancer – but no.
According to studies conducted post mortem show that MS suffers have a 40% lower chance of getting cancer than the general population. That’s a pretty significant finding.
According to the study they are not sure yet what is responsible for this but point to it being down to the DMD’s (Disease Modifying Drugs and Tecfidera was one of those named) or the faulty MS immune system being more receptive to catching and stopping cancer cells.
Personally I am rather leaning towards my own immune system striving to keep me alive still. There is a poetic symmetry to that idea.
But whatever mechanism makes us MS sufferers less likely to get cancer is a hero in my book. Researchers are even now looking to DMD’s as a potential cancer treatment. That would be amazing, if a drug could help not just Multiple Sclerosis sufferers but potentially help cancer patients.
I have had a love hate relationship with Tecfidera – side effects have not been kind to me – but this new knowledge is a game changer. Whether it is down to my faulty/ maybe-not-so-faulty immune system or my Tecfidera, I am swallowing my twice daily turquoise tablet with more vigour these days.