THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer, breast cancers are less likely to be detected through screening and colorectal cancer is more likely to be detected at an early stage, according to a study published online April 28 in Neurology.

Patti A. Groome, Ph.D., from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues compared the diagnostic route, cancer stage, and diagnostic interval among 351 patients with MS and breast cancer, 1,404 matched patients with breast cancer without MS, 54 patients with MS and colorectal cancer, and 216 matched patients with colorectal cancer without MS.

The researchers found that MS was associated with reduced odds of screen-detected cancers in breast cancer (odds ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.88) and possibly colorectal cancer (odds ratio, 0.52; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.21 to 1.28). There was no association observed for MS with differences in breast cancer stage at diagnosis (stage I cancer: odds ratio, 0.81; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.64 to 1.04), but there was an association for MS with increased odds of stage I colorectal cancer (odds ratio, 2.11; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.03 to 4.30). There was no difference seen in the median length of diagnostic interval between those with and without MS. Some findings were attenuated with adjustment for disability status.

“In the context of improved outcomes and increasing life expectancy for patients with MS, comprehensive health care that includes attention to their risk of other chronic diseases and the quality of care for those diseases needs to be ensured,” the authors write.

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