cancer from Remicade

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 4/19/2012 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone know anyone who has gotten Leukemia from Remicade.  My labs show high lymphocytes and low red blood cells, and I just wanted to know if anyone has irregular blood cells because Remicade.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1632
   Posted 4/19/2012 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
As to the original question, many people have had unusual blood results while on Remicade. What's more, many people just with Crohn's have unusual results such as high lymphocytes and low red blood cell counts. If you are concerned, maggiern, you should speak to your doctor. Without knowing your history, your "normal" levels, and all other pertinent facts, we can only speculate. But usually leukemia is not one of the concerns with Remicade, and usually with something like leukemia, the blood test results go way, way off. Your doctor would/should know to be aware of that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 4/19/2012 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with beave. Crohn's itself could be the cause of your irregular blood work. Also, Remicade can cause abnormal blood counts as well. Or it could be that you are fighting an infection. There are plenty of reasons other than leukemia for the blood work to be out of whack.

Try not to jump to the worst scenario before ruling out the other avenues. ((hugs)). I hope you get some good answers to set your mind at ease.

Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Crohn's in Remission since June 2008
C-diff recurrence Sep 2009
Reactive Arthritis Nov 2009
Currently c-diff free
Osteopenia of spine (Mar 2010)
Canasa (1gm), Lialda (4.8 gms), Remicade (8 weeks)
Currently In Remission

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 4/19/2012 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
This topic has been discussed here before and someone posted a link to a rather lengthy article that dealt with that question. I wish I knew where it was so I could show it to you.
I read the article myself since I've had 4 infusions, and #5 is a week away, my Gastro has not ordered bloodwork to see if it's thrown anything out of whack yet, and I'm not sure when that will happen.
To sum up the article as I remember it there is an increased risk, but compared the the risk of the general population it is not much larger. I won't give the numbers because I can't remember them. In the meantime try not to worry too much, I can speak from experience that anxiety doesn't do your body any good.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 268
   Posted 4/20/2012 11:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I got cancer while on Remicade. It is unknown what the cause of the cancer was. It could have been the Remicade, could have been a different drug (I was on 6MP at the time as well), could have been an unknown cause, I could have even had it before the Remicade. I do not regret the Remicade at all, as it seriously helped my Crohns. I would easily go back on Remicade again at the risk of getting cancer again.
Sarah, 22 y/o.
Several Bone fractures due to Prednisone
Thyroid Cancer, Severe Crohn's Disease- perianal, many more...

Current rx: Celexa, Lomotil, Pentasa, Humira, Klonopin, Prednisone, Synthroid, Zinc, Multivitamin, Calcium w/ Vitamin D, Fentanyl, Ambien, Depo Provera, Align, Zofran, Lansoprazole, Propranolol, Dilaudid

Past rx: Remicade, 6MP, Flagyl, Cipro, Entocort....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 4/21/2012 4:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on remicade for almost 8 years. I have always been told that your cancer risk are just slightly higher due to the low immune system. I ended up with pre cancerous cells in two strictures in my large intestine and a non invasive carcinoma. My colon was removed and the carcinoma was cut out. I switched doctors and was pulled off the remicade and started on 6 mp. He explained to me that most people that get cancer usually take a combination of remicade and 6mp or something similar. He also said the remicade did not cause my cancer/precancerous cells but it did affect my bodies ability to fight off the abnormal cells.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 794
   Posted 4/21/2012 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Is this the link?

Sorry to hear that you are worried re your lab results, hopefully it is nothing to worry about

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 4/22/2012 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your advise.  I talked to a doctor I work with and he told me not to worry about the labs, and that they will just monitor me.  So thanks all of you for helping me ease my mind.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 4/22/2012 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
That's the best thing I've found to do maggiern :) I am sorry that you're feeling stressed about this as well.
22 years old
Dx: Colitis, 2008
Re-Dx: Crohn's, 2011
Currently taking: Methotrexate, multivitamin, iron and B12, as well as BC and asprin
Have taken: Lialda, prednisone
Tried and failed: Imuran, 6MP (allergic to both), Sulfasalazine (headaches, nausea, general ick feeling)
Albuterol- As needed
Yaz- 1 daily
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