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MTX & Melanoma?

  • By Snappyarms2

    Was diagnosed last Jan and started MTX (injection), folic acid and prednisone. Started Plaqunil in June and able to get off prednisone in October. I have been able to tolerate all meds very well, no hairloss, not feeling overly sick. Thought I was managing quite well. Now the big bummer..had a suspicious mole checked, diagnosed with Stage 2 melanoma. Between the excision of the site and new surgery coming next week for a sentinel lymph node biopsy, been off and on the MTX for several weeks. Already feeling the pain and stiffness returning. I am so fearful of infection after the upcoming surgery but I have to have this done. I really don’t know where this came from. The MTX, the RA? There is not much family history of melanoma. What in the world have I gotten myself into here??

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  • By Richard Faust Moderator

    So sorry to hear about the diagnosis Snappyarms2. First, it is o.k. and understandable to be afraid and have questions. Skins conditions certainly are a potential comorbidity with RA. Whether the causal arrow is from the condition or the medication is often debatable. This article looks at RA and skin conditions: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/skin-in-the-game/.

    The risk of infection from RA and some of the medications is also a comorbidity. Basically, because RA is an autoimmune condition the treatments have to knock down the immune system. This article specifically looks at the increased risk of infection: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/blog/is-there-an-increased-risk-of-infection/.

    Several years ago my wife, Kelly Mack (who has RA and is a contributor here), had to have a couple of surgeries to remove a cancerous mole. She also had to go off of her medications to lower the risk of infection (she also had to do it again for a knee replacement revision). The good news is that, while difficult, she came through o.k. and has been able to resume her treatments and even eventually go on a biologic.

    Wishing you the best and keep us posted on how you are doing. You can do this! Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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