Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found that opioid use might increase a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Published Jan. 6, the study, titled “Opioid Use as a Potential Risk Factor for Pancreatic Cancer in the United States,” is the first in the country to show evidence that opioid use may be an unidentified risk factor contributing to the increasing incidence of pancreatic cancer.
In fact, opioid misuse and overdose have evolved into a public health crisis. Approximately 70,000 drug overdose deaths were reported in 2017, 68% of which involved an opioid.¹ The use of prescription opioids for the management of chronic pain has increased remarkably, with more than 191 million opioid prescriptions given to patients in the United States in 2017. Not surprisingly, the opioid addiction rates among patients who are given opioid for chronic pain have increased, with 29% of such patients misusing opioids, and 12% developing an opioid use disorder.