Celgene Corporation and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) have joined efforts to designate Sept. 28 as the inaugural Psoriatic Arthritis Awareness Day, a day dedicated to spreading the word about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
According to the NPF, up to 30% of people with psoriasis end up developing PsA, which is an inflammatory form of arthritis. The organization estimates there are more than 1 million U.S. residents living with PsA, even though this number might be higher because patients often see their PsA symptoms confused with other diseases, such arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout or reactive arthritis.
“In 85 percent of PsA patients, psoriasis occurs before joint disease, so it is critical for psoriasis patients to understand factors associated with PsA,” Randy Beranek, president and chief executive officer of NPF, said in a press release. “Through these efforts and more, we hope to help improve understanding of the disease, decrease time to diagnosis, and stress the critical importance of early treatment to help lessen the impact on patients’ overall quality of life,” Beranek said.
Symptoms like pitted fingernails, swollen fingers and toes, foot pain, joint stiffness or continuous pain, as well as a personal or family history of psoriasis or arthritis, often are underreported. Telling your healthcare provider about these symptoms is very important, as early diagnosis is critical for the appropriate treatment of this disease.
“Psoriatic arthritis can present significant challenges to those living with the disease, including significant pain and swelling in joints that may impact a person’s activities of daily living,” added Madelaine Feldman, MD and rheumatologist. “While there is no cure, PsA can be managed, which is why it is critical for people to know the factors associated with PsA, talk with their healthcare provider to obtain the right diagnosis, and determine a treatment plan that works for them,” she said.
PsA Awareness Day will focus on educating, empowering and showing the PsA community how to take action by highlighting some ways for people to get involved:
- Check out the PsA Awareness Day website to learn about tools and diagnosis so you can have an informed discussion with your doctor.
- Spread the word. Use your social media channels to share PsA Awareness Day toolkit assets, including the “5 Factors Associated With PsA” infographic and the hashtag #PsADay16.
- Tell your friends and join the movement to help others know more about PsA and support those living with this disease.
“Celgene is committed to addressing the needs of people living with psoriatic arthritis, which means understanding every point of the patient journey from diagnosis to treatment,” said Scott Smith, president of Global Inflammation and Immunology at Celgene. “These Psoriatic Arthritis Awareness Day efforts are just one step in addressing these needs and an important collective initiative to support the psoriatic community by recognizing those living with PsA, raising awareness of the factors associated with PsA, and providing much-needed education on the disease.”
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