Can Lithium Cause Cancer?

Cancer written on board

There is no definitive evidence to suggest that lithium, a medication commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, directly causes cancer in humans.

However, some research studies have explored potential links between long-term lithium use and a slightly increased risk of certain types of cancer, notably thyroid cancer and possibly kidney cancer. These studies have presented mixed findings, and the risk, if present, is considered to be relatively small and may vary based on the duration and dosage of lithium use.

It’s essential to note that lithium is a crucial medication used to manage mood disorders, and its benefits in treating bipolar disorder often outweigh the potential risks associated with long-term use. Physicians carefully weigh the benefits and risks when prescribing lithium, and regular monitoring is typically recommended for individuals on long-term lithium therapy.

If you have concerns about the potential risks associated with lithium use, including its impact on cancer risk, it’s advisable to discuss these concerns with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized information, guidance, and monitoring to address your specific health needs and considerations. Additionally, ongoing research might provide further insights into the relationship between lithium use and cancer risk.

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