February 5, 2013

Risks Of Lip Cancer

Long-term use of commonly prescribed blood pressure medications may be associated with an increased risk of lip cancer in non-Hispanic whites, according to a study published in the September 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland compared 712 patients with lip cancer with 22,904 control participants in a susceptible group of non-Hispanic whites.

They determined  participants’ use of photosensitizing and nonphotosensitizing blood pressure medications.  The investigators analyzed use of each drug exclusively and regardless of use of the others and focused on duration of use.  They also controlled for cigarette smoking.

The results showed that the risk of developing squamous cell lip cancer was higher among those who received long-term treatment with photosensitizing blood pressure medications.  Nonphotosensitizing atenolol, when used alone, was not associated with an increased risk, the authors wrote.

Lip cancer remains rare, and an increased risk of developing it is generally outweighed by the benefits of these blood pressure drugs and other photosensitizing medications.  Physicians prescribing photosensitizing drugs should ascertain whether patients are at high risk of developing lip cancer by virtue of fair skin and long-term sun exposure and discuss lip protection with them.

Although not yet confirmed by clinical trials, likely preventive measures are simple: a hat with a sufficiently wide brim to shade the lips and lip sunscreens.

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1 comment:

  1. It is interesting that something like a mouth or teeth that have been taken care of by a dentist can make a huge difference in peoples perceptions. Thanks for sharing this information. I appreciate it!