Asthma tied to higher cancer risk, but steroids show increased protection

Patients who have asthma are 1.36 times more likely to develop cancer in their lifetime than others, new research out of the University of Florida in Gainesville found.

However, the inhalation of steroids by patients with asthma enhances protection against their increased risk for all but two of 13 cancers studied: lung cancer and melanoma. 

Researchers examined a database of Florida health records and administrative claims to synthesize their findings. 

"Most prior studies of U.S. patients have not found an association between asthma and cancers other than lung cancer," the April 11 news release states.

Researchers also noted that additional studies are necessary to fully understand "the mechanisms through which asthma is associated with cancer, given the prevalence of asthma," Yi Guo, PhD, an associate professor in the UF College of Medicine and the lead author of the study, said in a statement.

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