Osteoporosis drug cuts breast cancer risk
Sat, 12 Dec 2009 18:21:29 GMT
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Taking a commonly used class of osteoporosis drugs can lower the risk of developing invasive forms of breast cancer, Women’s Health Initiative researchers say.

According to a study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, women taking the bone-strengthening pills known as bisphosphonates are 32 percent less likely to develop invasive breast malignancies.

Taking the drugs used to slow or stop the bone dissolving process contributing to osteoporosis for more than five years also lowers the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer by 29 percent.

“The idea that bisphosphonates could reduce breast cancer incidence is very exciting because there are about 30 million prescriptions for these agents written annually in the United States targeting bone health, and more could easily be used to counteract both osteoporosis and breast cancer,” said lead researcher and chief oncologist from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute Rowan Chlebowski.

Scientists said further studies are needed to confirm their findings, insisting that women should not start taking bisphosphonates to lower their breast cancer risk.

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