Hip replacement cancer fears allayed
A BRISTOL study has shown that people who have hip replacements are no more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than anyone else.
There had been reports to suggest that patients who have "metal on metal" hip replacements were at a greater risk of developing cancer within seven years of surgery.
But Professor Ashley Blom, right, of Bristol University and Southmead Hospital worked with colleagues in Exeter to examine a register of joint replacement operations to establish whether there was any validity in the claims.
In the study commissioned by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales and published on bmj.com last night, they found that incidence of cancer was lower in patients after hip replacement than estimates for those of the same age and sex in the general population.
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The register contains records of more than one million procedures from at least 97 per cent of orthopaedic units and every year registry data and hospital statistics are checked to see how patients who have had joint replacements are faring.
The authors hope the study will help clinicians reassure patients that the risk of cancer for hip replacement patients is relatively low but said more long-term data is needed over the next few decades as some cancers take longer to develop.