Cancer screening in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Sasha R. Bernatsky*, Glinda S. Cooper, Chris Mill, Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, Ann E. Clarke, Christian A. Pineau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective. To examine whether patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) undergo cancer screening according to established guidelines, to compare their reported screening practices with information from the general population, and to examine potential predictors of screening within our SLE sample. Methods. We conducted a patient survey of cancer screening practices within the Montreal General Hospital lupus cohort. We compared self-reported frequency of cancer screening to guidelines suggested for the general population, and to figures for cancer screening reported in the general population. We also developed logistic regression models to establish potential predictors of screening for patients with SLE, with cervical cancer screening being the outcome of interest in our primary analyses. Results. Of 48 women aged 50-69, 53% (95% confidence interval, CI: 38-68) had had a mammogram in the past 12 months, compared to 74% (95% CI: 73-75) for similarly aged Quebec women. Of 51 subjects aged 50 and older, only 18% (95% CI: 8-34) reported screening (fecal occult blood check with or without endoscopy) within the recommended time frame, compared to 48% (95% CI: 45-51) for colorectal screening for persons > 50 in the general population. Only 9 of 27 patients with SLE aged less than 30 had Pap tests in the past 12 months (33%, 95% CI: 19-52), compared with a general population rate of 56% (95% CI: 53-59) for similarly aged Quebec women. Our logistic regression model suggested that, among the SLE patients, non-whites, those with lower education, and those with higher disease damage scores were less likely to undergo cervical Pap testing. Conclusion. These data suggest that appropriate cancer screening may be overlooked in patients with SLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Cancer screening
  • Malignancy
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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