Defective Medical Device May Cause Cancer

There are over hundreds of cancer types affecting various parts of the body. Prostate cancer is the most common one, as reported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The organization is expecting more than 240,000 new casesarising from malignant prostate gland conditions in the US in 2012. Meanwhile, pancreatic cancer holds the lowest incidence with 43,920 new cases expected in 2012. Recently, the Telegraph reports about a type of cancer resulting from metal-on-metal hip devices.

The NCI listed the most common cancer types that have the greatest frequency in the US. In no particular order, these include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Kidney or renal cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Non-hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

Cancer likely affects every body organ. The cells within malignant or cancerous tumors have the ability to invade neighboring tissues and organs, thus spreading the disease. Cancerous cells may possibly break free from the tumor and enter the bloodstream, spreading the disease to other organs.

Cancer-causing Hip Device
Results from a British study of 72 patients reveal genetic damage to the bladders of 17 patients, says the Telegraph. Of the 17 patients injured by the metal-on-metal hip replacements, three developed “full-blown cancer.”

The presence of microscopic metal parts in the circulatory system because of the metal components rubbing against each other (and flaking off) may have risen from the design problems associated with  metal-on-metal hip implant devices, like the DePuy. The tiny particles shed from metal-on-metal hip replacement implants may increase the amount of some metals in the blood, such as chromium and cobalt. This condition may result in genetic damage (genotoxicity) and blood poisoning (metallosis). Chromium and cobalt have also been linked to cancer, and might lead to the development of tumors.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, cancer has been shown in animals when cobalt was placed directly into the muscle or under the skin. Based on this research, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer includes cobalt found in hard metals as a potential carcinogen for humans.

Defective Hip Device Pulled Out of Market
After information saying that the devices have defectsin one out of eight clients, the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System were withdrawnfrom the market in 2010. There are about 93,000 recipients of these products worldwide.

 “It is a complete untruth that DePuy did not have reason to withdraw the ASR before now; we have been telling them since 2007, but they allowed it to be used on thousands of people,” says Dr. Stephen Graves, the director of the National Joint Replacement Registry in Australia.

“Many people could have avoided considerable pain, suffering and diminished quality of life if the company had acted in a responsible manner to known problems with these devices,” according to a legislative panel in Australia. Affected patients have been filing a hip replacement lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.