I've seen my rheumatologist recently and mentioned that I've been having some face swelling that doesn't seem to go away. I also showed him pics of redness on my knuckles and asked him whether it can be dermatomyositis (DM). He agreed that it can be but secondary to lupus, the way he said it was 'overlapping symptoms'.
I've recently changed my immunosuppressant because the previous one (mycophenolate) wasn't controlling joint and muscle pain. I'm now on ciclosporine, already in the 4th week but at quite low dose.
The face swelling hasn't gone away, actually it has been increasing in the past few days. The rheumatologist has put me back on steroids to target it.
As far as I can read about dermatomyositis, it seems that it causes cancer in the vast majority of sufferers. It seems that once a person is diagnosed with DM a protocol of routine monitoring for cancer is instituted.
If you have been diagnosed with DM, my questions are:
- are you on a routine monitoring for cancer?
- if so, what does that monitoring entail - CT scans, blood tests for example? And if so, how often are you having these done?
- what medication are you on for DM?