Cancer risk increase linked with opioid use

Records for more than 45,000 people registered for opioid substitution therapy (OST) in NSW between 1985 and 2007 were studied for rates of cancer, death and infection with hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV) and HIV.

Analysis found that overall cancer risk increased slightly – by 15% – compared to the general population.

But substantial increased risk was seen for some cancers including liver cancer (eightfold increased risk) and lung cancer (fourfold increased risk)