Heightened Cancer Risk among Individuals with Certain Type of Muscular Dystrophy

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For the past decades, health care professionals noted that the numbers of individuals who are developing cancer are still high. For this reason, many researchers are investing their time and efforts in conducting further studies in an attempt to find out the major risk factor that is contributory to the development of cancer. Up to this date, researchers have associated increase risk of developing cancer to multiple and various factors which include: heredity, lifestyle, environment and nutrition. With this information, the general public is called to be wary and conscious about the possible effects and consequences that their action can bring them. Also, many researchers are conducting additional studies in trying to delineate whether there are links between cancer risks and other diseases.

In fact, recently, it was noted that individuals who are suffering from a specific type of muscular dystrophy known as Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (MMD) are of increased risk of developing cancer as compared to other individuals who are not manifesting the said disease.

Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (MMD) is which is also known as the Steinert’s disease is a slowly progressing disease which is characterized by weakening of voluntary muscles that control your arms and legs, weakening of muscles involved in breathing and swallowing, and weakening of head, neck and face muscles.

The new study which was published in the issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association involved the analysis and examination of about 1,658 patients who are located in Denmark. These study participants were diagnosed of having Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (MMD) dated back in between year 1977 and 2008. Researchers also tracked down the study participants after their diagnosis of MMD and continued until they were diagnosed of having cancer.

Researchers found out during the follow up that about 6 per cent of the study participants were diagnosed of having cancer tantamount to about 104 patients. That is compared to the average cancer rate of the general population with the same number of individuals which is only about 52 cases. This means that those individuals who have Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (MMD) had twice increase risk of developing cancer as to those who do not have the disease.

Moreover, the researchers also concluded that even though there is about twice increase risk of developing cancer among those patients with MMD, still incidence rates for a number of the excess cancers are relatively low.




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