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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pain Drugs Can Cause Cancer

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The new study showed that consumption of pain reliever acetaminophen and paracetamol groups increase the risk of blood cancer.

Although the risks are low and the mechanism is not known with certainty, the results of such research adds to evidence of a link between cancer and pain relievers (painkiller).

In the initial study did note that the use of aspirin could lower the risk of death from colon cancer, but on the other hand increase the risk of stomach bleeding. It is not clear whether the bleeding was due to blood cancer or hematology.

"Previously only a bit of corroborating evidence that aspirin lowers the risk of hematologic cancer (related to blood)," said Emily White, a researcher in the field of cancer.

In these cases there is a link that individual's consumption of pain medication increases the risk of cancer. However, such individual studies are not considered scientific proof of prior studies on large populations in the long run.

"Our study is prospective," said White, though he could not conclude an analgesic drug causes cancer.

In her study, White and his team followed more than 65,000 elderly men and women in the State of Washington, USA. The respondents were asked about their eating habits analgesics in the last 10 years and they certainly did not have cancer, except skin cancer.

Six years since the start of the study, 577 people or less than 1 percent had cancer that involves blood cells, such as lymphoma.

More than 9 percent of people suffering from cancer pain reliever acetaminophen use compared with 5 percent of people who also eat, but do not get cancer.

Then, after taking account of age, arthritis, and family history of suffering from blood cancer, it turns out people who take pain medication in the long run have a two times greater risk of suffering from cancer.

"People aged over 50 years have an increased risk of blood cancer in 10 years. However, if you are taking acetaminophen at least four times a week for a minimum of four years, the risk of cancer earlier will increase to 2 percent, "said White.

In this study, no association was found between other analgesics such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Dr. Raymond DuBois, a cancer prevention, say, acetaminophen or paracetamol work differently compared to other analgesic drugs that have different effects on cancer.

"However, it remains surprising that the use of acetaminophen increases the risk of blood cancers," he said.

Meanwhile, manufacturers are producing Tylenol, acetaminophen pain reliever, do not respond to the results of this study.

White also said it was too early to make recommendations on the results of this study. Still, he said there was no pain relief medication that is free from side effects. "Long-term use of OTC medications are causing harmful effects," he said.

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