Skin Cancer Risk Increases With Antibiotics

From Natural News Common Antibiotics Increase Your Skin Cancer Risk (6/10)by Kerri Knox, RN, citizen journalist

Most people would identify sun exposure as the primary risk factor for getting skin cancer, but few would think of antibiotics as a contributing factor to this deadly disease. Yet there is an entire class of antibiotics that are known to cause a condition known as photo carcinogenesis that can multiply the damage normally done by the sun and lead to an increase in the risk of skin cancer.

The Quinolone class of antibiotics, which includes such common antibiotics as Levaquin (Levofloxacin) and Cipro (Ciprofloxacin), has a long history of causing dangerous toxic conditions. In fact, no less than nine different Quinolone antibiotics have actually been approved by the FDA and released onto the market only to be found to be so dangerous that they had to be removed and recalled.

While each one was removed for various different toxic reactions, at least four were removed due to a problem called 'Phototoxicity'. Phototoxicity is a common occurrence with many prescription medications requiring people using them to stay out of the sun because of the excess sun damage and sunburn that can result. But the phototoxicity that is caused by the Quinolone antibiotics may be so bad that it is causing genetic damage to the cells and contributing to a more damaging form of phototoxicity called 'Photo carcinogenesis'. A carcinogen is a substance that is known to cause cancer; therefore, photo carcinogenesis refers to a substance that can actually cause skin cancer in the presence of sunlight. Yet this fact was only discovered AFTER these drugs had been released onto the market and significant numbers of complaints of severe skin problems from sunlight exposure were reported.

While it would be logical to think that the FDA might be extra cautious and require more extensive studies for sun damage from Quinolone antibiotics considering their checkered past, this does not seem to be the case. Several Quinolones have been approved since these nine have been recalled and all Quinolones have a warning on them to stay out of the sun. But few people read package inserts and doctors and pharmacists can't possibly discuss every warning of every drug with each patient - so this fact often remains unknown to the millions of people taking these antibiotics every year. Even more disturbing is that there is now a Quinolone cream approved for use of skin infections - such as acne. This cream will be used primarily by teenagers who are not known to be cautious about going out in the sun. Not only that, but the possibility that teens and young adults will be using this drug for years and even decades, as acne drugs generally are, combined with even a small increase in photo carcinogenic damage at such a young age could significantly increase lifetime skin cancer risk.

Since it is well known by drug manufacturers and the FDA that Quinolone antibiotics increase skin cancer risk in animals and cause skin damage in humans, those taking Quinolones regularly for non-life threatening chronic conditions, such as acne, bronchitis and sinus infections, are unwitting test subjects for the drug companies and the FDA to determine long-term skin cancer risk.

Kerri Knox, RN is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With over 14 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in Conventional Medicine and being well versed in Alternative Medicine. She has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, but works primarily by telephone consultation so that she can help you wherever you happen to live in the US. She can be reached through her website at:
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