Increased cancer risk not seen in metal-on-metal hip replacement systems
  • Tue, 04/10/2012 - 9:53am

A study published Tuesday discovered that patients with metal-on-metal hip replacements do not face a greater cancer risk over a seven year period than the general population or those with other hip implants. The National Joint Registry of England and Wales commissioned the study due to fears about toxic metals accumulating in the bloodstream when metal-on-metal implants fail.

Researchers evaluated Registry-provided patient data for 289,571 patients, 40,576 of whom received metal-on-metal hip replacement systems.

The risk of a moderately healthy 60-year-old man developing cancer with a metal-on-metal hip replacement was 6.2 percent in five years compared to 6.7 percent of men who received an alternative. Similarly, women with the metal-on-metal hip replacement system faced a 4 percent risk while women who received an alternative faced a 4.4 percent risk.

“This research shows that there is no increased risk of cancer with metal-on-metal hip replacements in the first seven years after surgery,” said School of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bristol professor Ashley Blom, who orchestrated the study. “Although this is very reassuring, we do not know what are the long-term risks and thus further studies will be necessary in the future.”

Interestingly, the researchers stated that hip replacement patients should not be compared to people in the general population because hip replacement patients "tend to be healthier than others of the same gender and age group."

Be that as it may, the British Broadcasting Corporation and the British Medical Journal announced in late February that a joint investigation revealed that patients who received the metal-on-metal implants may have been exposed to toxic metals that can cause disability, inflammations, and scarring.

After the seven year cancer study, researchers hope they were able to assist clinicians reassure patients that their cancer risk is “relatively low” or, at least, that metal-on-metal implants don’t elevate one’s risk.


About the Contributor

Related Posts