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An approach to studies of cancer subsequent to clusters of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): use of data from the Nevada State Cancer Registry

  [ 69 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • January 3, 1994


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been increasingly
associated with immune dysregulation, including depressed
natural killer cell activity; this phenomenon is associated
with increased susceptibility to cancer. Although anecdotal
reports have suggested an association between CFS and cancer,
particularly non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and brain cancer, there
has been no a priori justification for evaluating such an
association and no consideration of relevant parameters, such
as length of latent period vs. tumor type. We reviewed data
from the Nevada State Cancer Registry subsequent to a reported
outbreak of a CFS-like illness in Nevada that occurred during
1984-1986. We concentrated on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and
brain/CNS tumors, with particular emphasis on persons 15-34
and 35-54 years of age. An upward trend in the incidence of
brain/CNS tumors, which could be related to a national upward
trend for this disease, was noted. No consistent trends were
noted for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Because of the difficulties
inherent in studies of cancer subsequent to various exposures,
we evaluated the methodology for determining an association
between outbreaks of CFS-like disease and cancer. We propose
several approaches that should be considered in future studies
for investigation of possible associations between CFS and
cancer, including expected latent periods for specific tumors.

Levine PH, Atherton M, Fears T, Hoover R




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