Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Can 6-MP cause cancer ?

03-16-2016, 04:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2016
Can 6-MP cause cancer ?

My GI doc is putting me on 100 mg of Mercaptopurine 6-MP and told me I could get skin cancer or blood cancer because my immune system will be suppressed. Has anyone else ever been told this ? What is the likelihood of getting skin or blood cancer ? I am considering going off 6-MP on my own and trying an aloe vera supplement that has kept a lot of people in remission.
03-19-2016, 07:24 AM   #2
Senior Member
Madhu's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas

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Its a rare scenario, was what our GI told us. My husband was on 50 mg for 6 months and the only side effects he had was hairfall and gas. Hair fall stabilized after 2 months and gas stopped after he came off the meds. GI told us to be on the lookout for side effects the first 2 weeks. He said if the medicine doesnt agree with your body, you will know immediately. If you cross the 2 week mark and feel ok, 6-MP is ok for you.

He also said the major side effects (like lymphoma) are possible if you are on it for more than 2 years and he promised he will only put him on for 6 months. There are a lot of people on this forum who are on it for a long time. Hope they pop in and help!

Good luck
Hubby dx with Crohn's in Feb 2015, in remission from Feb 2016 to Feb 2017.
2 anal fistulas (setons placed in June 2015 and removed in Feb 2016)

Mild flare in Mar 2017. Remicade schedule adjusted

Current Meds - Remicade 10mg/kg
03-20-2016, 01:35 PM   #3
Senior Member
FrozenGirl's Avatar
I was on Imuran the sister drug for a bit over a year. It does slightly increase your risk of cancer. Primarily melanoma because it causes sun sensitivity (so wear sunscreen). Lymphoma like Madhu said is primarily seen in long term users (2+ years). And is still very rare. Uncontrolled Crohns is more dangerous in that continual inflammation can lead to increased cancer risk. It worked awesome for me and I only had a bit of fatigue that reduced after 3 weeks. I would strongly reccomend staying on it. It's an effective drug that has proven studies behind it.
Dx: Ulcerative Colitis, Nov 2013
Currently on:
Mezavant 4.8g
Vitamin D 1000iu
Tecta 40mg
Remicade: 600mg, every 4 weeks
Methotrexate: 15 mg (injection)

Last edited by FrozenGirl; 03-20-2016 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Spelling

Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Can 6-MP cause cancer ?
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