Monday, December 05, 2005

How is Antibiotic Use Linked to Cancer?

Earlier this month, I warned you about doctors unwisely prescribing way too antibiotics for children with sore throats when they don't need them. You might think twice about asking for an antibiotic, however, if you knew it could also increase your child's risk of cancer.
Based on the rise of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer affecting the body's lymphatic system, various studies investigating links with drugs have come up empty, until researchers reviewed information from the Scandinavian Lymphoma Etiology study that compared the health of some 3,100 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients with a group of healthy people.
Seems children who were treated with antibiotics more than 10 times had a higher incidence of non Hodgkin's lymphoma, and all subtypes of the disease. And, not so surprisingly, heavy use of non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, better known as NSAIDs, were also blamed for increasing one's odds of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Again, I'm at all opposed to antibiotics, just the over-reliance on them in cases where they do little or no good. Based on my experience, that's well over 95 percent of the time.

American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 162, No. 10, November 15, 2005: 965-974
Yahoo News November 19, 2005

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