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Small study shows marijuana does not increase risk of head, neck cancer

March 05, 2008

New research from Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery

Alexandria, VA - Smoking marijuana (cannabis) does not increase the user's risk of head and neck cancer, according to a new study published in the March 2008 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

The small sample study, authored by researchers from New Zealand and Great Britain, found that among 75 cases of head and neck cancer, the relative risk of smoking cannabis and contracting head and neck cancer in marijuana users was the same (1.0) as in those who had never smoked cannabis. These results differ from the relative risk of contracting cancer from smoking cigarettes (2.1) and the heavy consumption of alcohol (5.7), compared with those who abstained from those activities.

However, due to the limits of the study, the authors cannot exclude other possible effects, and recommend a larger study.

Cancers of the head and neck, with more than 500,000 new cases diagnosed each year worldwide, represent the fourth most common type of cancer. It is estimated that more than 13,000 people will die from head and next cancer each year in the United States alone.

American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery


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Clinical trial underway for treatment of sleep apnea in adolescents with Down syndrome
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Sensory loss affects 94 percent of older adults
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Brain scars in multiple sclerosis patients reveal possible cause of taste problems
Taste deficits appear to be more prevalent among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients than previously reported and correlate with brain lesions left by the debilitating disease, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania's Smell and Taste Center and the department of Radiology found.

Possible marker for recurring HPV-linked oropharyngeal cancers
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New light shed on anti-adhesive molecule in the vascular endothelium
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Mind of blue: Conveying emotion affects brain's creativity network
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Disclosure strategies may improve communication for those with hearing loss
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Certain factors may help identify patients for surgical procedure for obstructive sleep apnea
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