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Does Semaglutide Cause Cancer?

Semaglutide Cause Cancer
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Semaglutide has emerged as a promising medication that helps control blood sugar levels and facilitate weight loss. However, as with any medication, it’s crucial to examine its potential side effects and risks.

One of the most pressing concerns among patients and healthcare providers alike is whether semaglutide increases one’s risk of cancer. In this article, we’ll delve into the research to provide a comprehensive understanding of semaglutide’s safety profile.

What Are the Chances of Getting Cancer from Semaglutide?

Though cancer is often listed as a possible side effect of semaglutide, research has demonstrated there is no conclusive evidence that semaglutide causes cancer in humans. Animal studies have indicated a risk of thyroid tumors at high dosages, but the relevance of these findings to humans requires further investigation.

How Does Semaglutide Affect Your Thyroid?

Clinical studies indicate semaglutide may cause an increase in calcitonin levels, a hormone produced by the thyroid. Elevated levels of calcitonin can be indicative of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), a rare type of thyroid cancer.

As a precaution, patients with a personal or family history of MTC or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome type 2 (MEN 2) are generally advised against using semaglutide.

Shouldn’t Take Semaglutide

Can You Take Semaglutide When You Have Cancer?

Some studies suggest that GLP-1 receptor agonists like semaglutide can have a proliferative effect on certain types of thyroid C-cells. For this reason, individuals who currently have medullary thyroid carcinoma or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome type 2 or who have a history of either condition should not take semaglutide.

In addition, if semaglutide would worsen the side effects of your cancer treatment, it’s not recommended you use it.

Who Shouldn’t Take Semaglutide?

Certain individuals should avoid taking semaglutide for weight loss due to the potential risks. Conditions that could disqualify you for the medication include:

  • A personal or family history of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma (MTC)
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • History of gallbladder disease
  • History of pancreatitis
  • Hypersensitivity/allergy to any of semaglutide’s ingredients
  • Being pregnant or breastfeeding

What Are Other Risks and Side Effects of Semaglutide?

While semaglutide can be effective for weight loss, it’s important to consider its side effects and risks before using it. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney problems
  • Allergic reaction
  • Gallbladder problems


Semaglutide offers valuable therapeutic benefits for many patients. However, it’s essential to be aware of the risks it carries, particularly concerning your thyroid. While current evidence does not definitively link semaglutide to cancer in humans, the findings in animal studies warrant caution. As with any medication, consultation with a doctor is vital to making an informed decision.

If you’re looking to use semaglutide to lose weight, The Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help. When you enroll in our online medical weight loss program, you’ll gain access to semaglutide injections and virtual visits with a licensed physician who can guide you along your weight loss journey. Book an evaluation today to discover whether you’re eligible.

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