All-cause mortality following a cancer diagnosis amongst multiple sclerosis patients: a Swedish population-based cohort study.
Eur J Neurol. 2015. doi: 10.1111/ene.12710. [Epub ahead of print]
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A reduced cancer risk amongst patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been reported. Theoretically, this could represent a genuine reduction in risk or, alternatively, 'diagnostic neglect', where cancer is undiagnosed when symptoms are misattributed to MS.
OBJECTIVE: Assess all-cause mortality risk following a cancer diagnosis in patients with MS compared with a cohort without MS.
PATIENTS: A cohort of MS patients (n = 19 364) and a cohort of the general population (n = 192 519) were extracted from national Swedish registers from 1969 to 2005. All-cause mortality after cancer in MS was compared with the general population. The models were adjusted for follow-up duration, year at entry, sex, region and socioeconomic index. The two cohorts were combined and differences in mortality risk were assessed using interaction testing.
RESULTS: The adjusted relative risk (and 95% confidence interval) for all-cause mortality following a cancer diagnosis in MS patients (compared with MS patients without cancer) is 3.06 (2.86-3.27; n = 1768) and amongst those without MS 5.73 (5.62-5.85; n = 24 965). This lower magnitude mortality risk in the MS patients was confirmed by multiplicative interaction testing (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: A consistent pattern of lower magnitude of all-cause mortality risk following cancer in MS patients for a range of organ-specific cancer types was found. It suggests that cancer diagnoses tend not to be delayed in MS and diagnostic neglect is unlikely to account for the reduced cancer risk associated with MS. The lower magnitude cancer risk in MS may be due to disease-associated characteristics or exposures.
Maybe an over active immune system may mean that is is better at stop cancers from forming