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Can chemotherapy contribute to an RA diagnosis?

I was wondering could toxic chemicals be a factor in getting this diagnosis? One doctor I went to diagnosis was mixed connective tissue disease. I haven’t been taking the meds because I’m afraid of them. But I’m also afraid I’ve results of not taking them. I’m afraid of the fear factor about the liver I do drink alcohol. I was wondering could it be linked Hodgkin’s disease. I was diagnosed with that 20 something years ago and took a chemotherapy.


Community Answers
  • Richard Faust moderator
    1 month ago

    Hi Melanie. On top of the excellent information from Erin, thought you might be interested in this article on envoronmental risk factors for RA: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/causes/environmental-risk-factors/. While these factors are not considered the primary driver of the onset of RA they are thought to play a role. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Erin Rush moderator
    2 months ago

    HI @Melanie68! It’s perfectly normal to be hesitant about taking conventional medications for RA. And frankly, it’s your body, so you get to decide what to do with it. That said, one of the main reasons physicians recommend medical treatment is to slow/minimize joint damage in the body. Here is one of my favorite articles about being newly diagnosed that I thought you might find helpful, regardless of how long you have had RA — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/back-to-the-future/. Also, while studies are still being done to discover causes and risk factors for RA, possible causes linked to medications are not high (but they are there). You can read more about that here — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/causes/. RA is still a bit of a mystery to some extent. I will say, based on what the research shows, there is nothing you purposely did or didn’t do that caused your RA. Even if it is linked to medications some time in the future, no one can be held responsible for not having all of the information at the time of taking a medication. You do the best you can with the information you have at any given time. Please know you are not alone — many of our members worry about medication side effects. I hope this information is helpful for you. Thank you for reaching out. Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

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