Metal-on-metal hip replacements may not increase cancer risk
June 18, 2012
Topic: Hip replacement
People who receive metal-on-metal hip replacements may be no more likely to develop cancer than individuals who receive prosthetics made with other materials, according to new research published by BMJ.
About 35 percent of hip replacements in the U.S. consisted of metal-on-metal devices. Based on observations in occupational health, some people in the medical community have questioned whether the presence of certain materials in the body may increase the risk of certain malignant diseases.
In order to investigate, a team of researchers from the UK reviewed the medical data of more than 40,500 patients who received metal-on-metal hip replacements, as well as nearly 245 individuals who had prosthetics made from alternative materials.
The researchers also collected data on the incidence of cancer of the blood, prostate, skin and renal tracts.
After an average follow-up period of three years after surgery, the researchers found no evidence that metal-on-metal implants had a stronger association with malignant diseases, compared to other types of materials.
"These data are reassuring, but the findings are observational with short follow-up," the researchers wrote in their report, adding that studies with longer observational periods are needed.