Phenacetin-Containing Analgesics and Cancer of the Bladder or Renal Pelvis in Women

Authors

  • MARGARET McCREDIE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Westmead Hospital, Westmead; New South Wales Central Cancer Registry, Sydney; Commonwealth Institute of Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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    • 2

      MA, Research Officer.

  • J. H. STEWART,

    1. Department of Medicine, Westmead Hospital, Westmead; New South Wales Central Cancer Registry, Sydney; Commonwealth Institute of Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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    • 3

      MB, BS, FRACP, FRCP, Renal Physician, Department of Medicine, Westmead Hospital.

  • JOYCE M. FORD,

    1. Department of Medicine, Westmead Hospital, Westmead; New South Wales Central Cancer Registry, Sydney; Commonwealth Institute of Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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      MB, BS, BSc, Grad Dip Health Admin, FACMA, Registrar, New South Wales Central Cancer Registry.

  • R. A. MacLENNAN

    1. Department of Medicine, Westmead Hospital, Westmead; New South Wales Central Cancer Registry, Sydney; Commonwealth Institute of Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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      MB, BS, MS, DCH, DTM&H, MRCP, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Commonwealth Institute of Health, University of Sydney.


Department of Medicine, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.

Abstract

Summary— In a case-control investigation of 154 women with cancer of the bladder and 440 female population controls spanning the same age range, the relative risk for this cancer was 2.6 in consumers of phenacetin-containing analgesics and 2.7 in tobacco smokers. The relative risks for cancer of the renal pelvis, determined for 31 cases, were 5.4 with phenacetin and 4.7 with tobacco. Increasing consumption of either agent increased the risk for cancer at each of the two sites, while a synergistic rather than purely additive effect was apparent when both phenacetin-containing analgesics and tobacco had been taken. Consumption of analgesic preparations which contained no phenacetin did not increase the risk of developing cancer at either site.

The evidence indicates that phenacetin is a clinically important carcinogen for the lower as well as for the upper urinary tract.

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