The cancer study, published in the British Medical Journal (4/3/12), examined data from people who received metal-on-metal hip replacements and found that patients who received the implants were at no greater risk of cancer after seven years than patients who received different hip replacement devices or no hip replacement. Cancers included in the study were malignant melanoma, prostate and renal tract cancers.
The study follows a previous report, published by the British Medical Journal and the British Broadcasting Corporation, which said that patients who received the metal-on-metal hip implants may have been exposed to toxic metals, caused when metallic debris came loose from the implants and was absorbed by the patient's tissue.
Researchers note, however, that there were limitations to the most recent study, including that patients who receive the metal-on-metal implants tend to be healthier than patients who receive other implants, because the metal-on-metal implants are designed to last longer and be used by active patients.
READ MORE HIP AND KNEE REPLACEMENT LEGAL NEWS
Some reports estimate that the metal-on-metal hip devices are failing at a rate of about 12 percent by five years. Traditional hip implants are expected to last around 15 years. Lawsuits have been filed against the makers of certain hip replacement devices, alleging the devices were defectively designed and manufactured, putting patients at increased risk of revision surgery and injury.