Metal hip cancer risk fears allayed
Published on 04 April 2012 11:00 AM
A new study has found no link to suggest that metal-on-metal hip implants could increase a person's risk of developing cancer.
The research, published in the British Medical Journal, analysed 40,576 patients with the implants and could not find any link to cancer in the seven years after the implants were fitted.
That said, the researchers have conceded that longer studies are still required.
An article published in last month's The Lancet journal called for metal-on-metal implants to be banned.
This came after experts feared tiny metal ions made up of cobalt and chromium are susceptible to breaking off from the implants and leaking into the blood, prompting fears that this could cause muscle and bone damage as well as neurological issues.
Researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter found no evidence of an increased risk of any type of cancer in people with implants compared with the general population, having analysed the 40,576 patients with metal-on-metal hip implants, and 248,995 who have other types.
The latest research comes after advice was issued saying that one particular type of total hip implant should not be used. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said that the implant in question has a revision rate of 10.7% just four years after initial surgery which is 'unacceptably high'. (The revision rate refers to the number of hip implants that require corrective surgery.)
Copyright Press Association 2012