Intended for healthcare professionals


Antibiotics may be linked to risk of cancer

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 21 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1381
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

    The risk of developing prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer rises with use of antibiotics, a large observational study has found (International Journal of Cancer 2008 Aug 14, doi: 10.1002/ijc.23622).

    The risk of less common cancer has also been linked with antibiotic use. The study shows that the risk of being diagnosed with non-melanoma skin, duodenum, pancreas, kidney, bladder, male genitals (excluding prostate), and thyroid cancers as well as myeloma and leukaemia, was more than 1.5 times more among participants with six or more antibiotic prescriptions, compared with the group with lowest exposure.

    “Findings suggest that antibiotic use, especially …

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