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Inflammatory myositis is the medical term for muscle inflammation. This causes the muscle to be weak and can also cause muscle ache and swelling. There are many types of inflammatory myositis but the major types include:
1. Dermatomyositis – in addition to muscle weakness, there is a rash on the skin especially around the eye-lids and the fingers. Cancer is found in approximately 10%-20% of cases. Sometimes, the muscle problem develops first. In other cases, the cancer is detected before the myositis.
2. Polymyositis – the condition affects the muscles alone without a rash. Cancer is not commonly associated with polymyositis, unlike in dermatomyositis.
3. Inclusion body myositis – the condition causes severe muscle weakness and wasting throughout the body over a long period of time.
4. Drug-induced myositis – the condition is triggered by the body’s response to a type of cholesterol lowering drug called statins. The symptoms of muscle pain and weakness can manifest over a short period of time, but patients can also improve rapidly once the medication is stopped.
Inflammatory myositis is a rare condition, affecting about 5 to 10 persons per million worldwide. While it can affect people of any age, there are two main clusters of patients: children between the ages of 5 to 15 years and adults between the ages of 30 to 65 years. Generally, women are twice more likely to develop myositis than men.