Gout patients have an increased risk of cancer because of the high frequency of heavy alcohol intake and obesity, which are often associated. High uric acid (hyperuricemia) should have a protective effect by cancer prevention since uric acid is an antioxidant.
To evaluate the relationship between gout, cancer and hyperuricemia, the authors studied cancer incidence in an ongoing study of a group of 16,875 patients over 30 years in Sweden.
Of all the patients, 62% were male. The cancer total incidence was 1.25%. Included were cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, colon, liver and bile ducts, pancreas, lung, skin and kidney, as well as lymphocytic leukemia. Women had a high incidence of cancer of the endometrium and kidney as well as an increase in the above tumors.
Hyperuricemia may be found to be an early marker for carcinoma. The possibility that gout medications could be carcinogenic needs more study. High uric acid and increased cancer risk can result from increased insulin resistance. High uric acid can be seen in rapid cell turnover with the release of cellular uric acid, as in cancer.
CONCLUSION: Uric acid elevation (hyperuricemia) did not show any protective effect from cancer. Patients in this study with gout had an increased chance of developing cancer. Uric acid is not protective from cancer, but, is not definitely causative. It may be a cancer marker.
NOTE: The following are used as treatment for gout: black tea, white mulberry twig, flavonoids, astragulus and cocoa polyphenols.