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2625 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 15/4/2021)


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medical drug carcinogens

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Some drugs used in a medical setting can increase the risk of cancer. These include:

  • oestrogens:
    • in early hormone replacement therapy regimes, unopposed oestrogens increased the risk of endometrial cancer; the same was also true of the early contraceptive pill; now both have progesterone physiological antagonism
    • the combined contraceptive pill has also been implicated in cervical cancer and rare liver adenomas
  • anabolic steroids - linked with liver hepatomas
  • chemotherapeutic agents:
    • alkylating agents, e.g. cyclophosphamide and bladder tumours, melphalan and bone marrow neoplasia
    • busulphan and marrow cancer
  • phenacetin - linked with renal pelvis cancer
  • immunosuppressants: patients on immunosuppressive chemotherapy or with AIDS have a high incidence of skin carcinomas, high-grade lymphomas and vascular tumours such as Kaposi's sarcoma; it is likely that compromised immunosurveillance permits tumour growth

Last reviewed 01/2018

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