Should ME/CFS Patients Be Worrying About Cancer?

I’m not trying to start a scare unnecessarily but over the years I have seen different times where research has found some sort of link between ME/CFS and cancer.  This time it is the latest news regarding the virus that has been found in us – XMRV.  Dr. David Bell talks in detail on ProHealth about the latest research with XMRV.  Here is one point he makes:

This virus is known to be “oncogenic,” meaning that it can cause cancer. At this point only a link has been established between XMRV and CFS. 

Dr. Bell also says about the research:

XMRV may “cause” CFS because it allows other agents (EBV, Lyme, enteroviruses, etc.) to be expressed differently. After all, XMRV is a retrovirus, and look at the variations in phenotype in other known human retroviruses.

The lymphocytes expressing XMRV were “activated,” implying that this agent was not just quietly lurking in cells, as some agents do.

Dr. Bell says on one hand, after following patients for 20 years, not many are getting cancer. But on the downside, he says that it takes a long time for cancer to “get going”. So are we just all on a wait and see timing? Are we at a greater risk for getting cancer? Hopefully someone will have answers for us because I’m sure I’m not the only one with these thoughts.

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  1. I am the XMRV patient who was on the Dr. Oz show. I am scared of getting lymphoma because I already have mediastinal adenopathy (swollen lymph nodes in my chest) and a PET scan picked up metabolic activity in my chest. I also have tumors in my liver and spleen. I was told by a couple of docs that I need ot get scanned regularly. But I had 15 scans in the last 2 years and am scared that the radiation will give me cancer. Not very good alternatives, waiting until there is a real cure and hoping for the best.

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