Cancer occurs when an abnormal cell in the body begins to replicate at a rate outside of the body’s control. It can happen in any part of the body where cells divide (for example, lung, breast, liver, rectum), and eventually spreads to other areas of the body. The risk of developing cancer may be genetic or may be triggered by external environmental factors. Prescription medications are external factors that may contribute to the development of cancer. The exact mechanism of how medications cause cancer is largely unknown. Three major classes of drugs (diabetes medications, hormone therapy, and immunosuppressive therapy) that may cause certain types of cancers are reviewed in detail in the following pages.
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