Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease characterized by proliferative synovitis of diarthrodial joints, serositis, lymphocytic infiltration in various tissues, vasculitis of small vessels and the production of anti-immunoglobulin autoantibodies (rheumatoid factor) [1], The etiology of the disease remains unknown. However, environmental and immunogenetic factors may have a role in the development of the disease [2]. Furthermore, the genetic background of the patients may determine the severity of the disease. Genetic analyses have shown that certain HLA DRB1 genotypes (0401/0401) are associated with more severe, erosive and deforming form of RA

The disease affects both females and males, but it is 2-3 times more common in women than men. The articular features of the disease include, morning stiffness and swelling, erosions and deformities of the small joints of the hands and feet as well as the large joints. Extra-articular features are also common and include malaise, fatigue, rheumatoid nodules, Sjogren's syndrome, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, vasculitis of the skin and internal organs, pleuritis, perecarditis and others [1],

The management of RA include the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and the disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Methotrexate, gold salts and azathioprine are commonly used in the treatment of the disease. Other treatment modalities include the use of cyclosporine A and biologic agents [4].

Various studies have suggested an increased risk of malignancy among patients with RA and malig nant diseases contribute significantly to the morbidity and mortality of the disease [5-9], In the present chapter, we review the association between RA and malignancies.

Natural Arthritis Relief

Natural Arthritis Relief

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