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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Increased cancer risk in patients referred to hospital with suspected fibromyalgia

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  1. Adaptive Trial Designs in Rheumatology: Report from the OMERACT Special Interest Group

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  2. OMERACT Definitions for Ultrasonographic Pathologies and Elementary Lesions of Rheumatic Disorders 15 Years On

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  3. OMERACT Development of a Core Domain Set of Outcomes for Shared Decision-making Interventions

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  1. Weight-bearing MRI of the Lumbar Spine: Spinal Stenosis and Spondylolisthesis

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  2. Weight-bearing MRI of the Lumbar Spine: Technical Aspects

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OBJECTIVE: To analyze whether fibromyalgia (FM) and FM-like symptoms are related to an increased incidence of cancer.

METHODS: We identified 1361 patients referred on suspicion of FM in the period 1984-99 from hospital records. Following the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, patients were divided into subgroups with and without confirmed FM. The cohort was followed to the end of 1999 and linked to the files of the Danish Cancer Register. Site-specific standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were calculated.

RESULTS: We found no association between FM and cancer in 1132 female patients with confirmed FM at our institution (SIR 1.2, 95% CI 0.8-1.8). In 106 women referred for muscle pain and/or tenderness who did not meet the criteria for FM, an increased overall SIR was observed (SIR 2.5, 95% CI 1.2-4.6), with increased risk for breast cancer (SIR 4.8, 95% CI 1.6-11.3) and lymphatic and hematological cancers (SIR 10.6, 95% CI 1.2-38.2). There were 4 lung cancers in 84 men with confirmed FM (SIR 12.6, 95% CI 3.4-32.4).

CONCLUSION: Neither confirmed FM nor those without confirmed FM predicted cancer. An increased risk of breast cancer was found among those who did not meet the ACR criteria for FM. These patients should be investigated if they develop any new or warning symptoms of malignancy, and treating physicians should be vigilant with screening procedures such as mammography.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume34
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)201-6
Number of pages6
ISSN0315-162X
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Breast Neoplasms, Cohort Studies, Denmark, Female, Fibromyalgia, Humans, Incidence, Inpatients, Lung Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Risk Factors

ID: 45051277