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World’s most commonly-used drugs cause renal cancer

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Analgesic painkillers – the world’s most commonly-used drugs – cause renal (kidney) cancer, researchers have discovered this week.
The drugs – also known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) – increase the risk of renal cancer by 51 per cent, and the risk increases the longer you take them. The risk drops to 32 per cent in those who regularly take the painkillers for less than four years.
Aspirin is the only NSAID that doesn’t cause renal cancer, say researchers from Harvard Medical School.
The risk was discovered only when researchers carried out a health profile of 77,525 women and 49,403 men.
Many common analgesics are available as over-the-counter treatments without a prescription, and so people need to understand the cancer risk associated with them before they start taking them, say the researchers.
(Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011; 171: 1487).

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