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Motrin causing kidney cancer?


NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are drugs that we take to alleviate pain and decrease acute inflammation.  They are extremely useful for many painful conditions and are preferred over narcotics by many as they are not addicting, safer in overdose, and inexpensive.  They are preferred over steroid anti-inflammatory medication because steroid use adversely affects many bodily systems and has major negative side-effects if used over time. 


It has generally been accepted that NSAIDs are safe despite a small bleeding risk, and a slight (temporary) decrease in kidney function with their use.


So you can imagine our surprise when we heard that this tried and true medication may be causing kidney cancer.


Prospective Evaluation of Analgesic Use and Risk of Renal Cell Cancer:  Our prospective data suggest that longer duration of use of nonaspirin NSAIDs may increase the risk of RCC.



Dr. Matthew Galsky reminds us that "the absolute risk is really on the small side. It's nine to 10 per 100,000 person years," he said. "So many patients take these medications and so many benefit from them; the risk is really on the small side....for the person taking these medicines daily for over 10 years, it is food for thought".



Like everything in life, you must weigh the risks and benefits.  After all, as stated, each class of anti-inflammatory medication has negative drawbacks, and overall, NSAIDs are safe.