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Study links skin cancer to one of the most common medications

by , 06 December 2017
Study links skin cancer to one of the most common medications
New research from The University of Southern Denmark and the Danish Cancer Society has fond a clear connection between skin cancer and antihypertensive medicine containing hydrochlorothiazide.

In a previous study, the researchers demonstrated that the medicine, which is one of the most commonly used drugs for hypertension worldwide, can increase the risk of lip cancer. For the full findings of their new study, keep reading…

Study demonstrates that hydrochlorothiazide medicine can increase the risk of skin cancer

The study was based on about 80,000 Danish people with skin cancer who used common hypertension medicines. The researchers found that those who used hydrochlorothiazide medicine had a seven times greater risk of developing a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Luckily, squamous cell carcinoma can be treated and has a very low mortality rate. Surprisingly, they found no link between other hypertension medicines and skin cancer risk.
“We knew that hydrochlorothiazide made the skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays, but what’s new and also surprising is that long-term use of this blood pressure medicine leads to such a significant increase in the risk of skin cancer,” said Anton Pottegård, PhD, associate professor from the University of Southern Denmark, who was the initiator of the study.


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“However, both lip and skin cancer are typically treated with an operation that is associated with a certain risk of impairment as well as a small, but real, risk that skin cancer of the squamous cell type spreads,” added Pottegård.

Hydrochlorothiazide is one of the most commonly used medicines to reduce blood pressure

Over 10 million people in the United States use hydrochlorothiazide medicine annually – and the numbers are similar for other countries. This means the side effects of this medicine can affect many people. The researchers calculated that about 10% of all Danish cases of squamous cell carcinoma may be caused by hydrochlorothiazide medicine!
Pottegård concluded that you shouldn’t interrupt your hypertension treatment plan without consulting your doctor first. However, if you use hydrochlorothiazide medicine at present, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor to see if it’s possible to choose a different medicine to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

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