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Briggz5d

Paracetamol Linked To Cause Blood Cancer?
« on: May 17, 2011, 04:49 PM »
This may come as a shock to alot of People who use paracetamol for almost every little pain, headache, Cold etc. Researchers have found that Regular users of paracetamol are likely to have an increased risk of developing blood cancers.

The tablets contain a chemical called acetaminophen which has been linked to cases of cancer in a number of individuals who were taking the drug.

The findings will terrify million of people worldwide who pop the pills to cure minor ailments without so much as a second thought.

Earlier work has shown that aspirin use might lower the odds of dying from colon cancer but increase the risk of bleeding ulcers. The picture has been less clear for blood, or haematologic, cancers, however.

The finding adds another twist to the complicated evidence linking cancer and painkillers, and hints acetaminophen might be different from the rest.

“Prior to this study, there was very little evidence that aspirin reduces your risk of haematological cancers,” said Emily White of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who worked on the new research.

There were some suggestions that acetaminophen might increase the risk of the cancers, on the other hand, but those were based on individual cases of blood cancer.

Studies of individual patients aren’t considered as strong as the new one, which tracked a large population of healthy people over time.

“We have the first prospective study,” White said.

Still, she warned, there is no proof that acetaminophen causes cancer, and the new results need to be confirmed before they are used in any treatment decision.

Earlier work has linked acetaminophen to asthma and eczema as well, but scientists still don’t agree on whether the drug is the actual culprit or just an innocent bystander.

The new study suffers from the same limitations, in that people who use lots of painkillers could be dealing with medical problems that set them up for cancer down the road.

The scientists followed nearly 65,000 older men and women in Washington State. At the outset, they asked the participants about their use of painkillers over the past 10 years and made sure that no one had cancer (except skin cancer).

Over some six years on average, 577 people or less than one percent, developed a cancer involving the blood cells. Examples of such cancers include lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS.

More than nine per cent of people who developed one of these cancers used high amounts of acetaminophen, compared to only five percent of those who didn’t get sick.

After accounting for things like age, arthritis and a family history of certain blood cancers, chronic acetaminophen users had nearly twice the risk of developing the disease.

‘A person who is age 50 or older has about a one-percent risk in 10 years of getting one of these cancers,” White said.

“Our study suggests that if you use acetaminophen at least four times a week for at least four years, that would increase the risk to about two percent.’

The manufacturers of this drug must be cursing these researchers about now.


 

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