fractured femur
Bisphosphonate drugs may not lower cancer risk
  • Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:47pm

A new study shows that bisphosphonate drugs like Fosamax may not lower the risk for colon cancer despite what previous studies have suggested.
The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology observed 86,000 American women for more than 10 years. In that time, 801 women developed colon cancer while using bisphosphonate drugs. According to Reuters Health, that number was no different than women not taking bisphosphonates.Previous studies suggested that the risk for colon cancer was 59 percent lower for bisphosphonate users than non-users.
Fosamax and other bisphosphonates are usually prescribed to treat osteoporosis, a chronic condition that causes bones to become brittle and break. Osteoporosis occurs when old bone dissolves quicker than the body can produce new bone. Bisphosphonates act as a filler for the lost bone until the body makes a replacement.
Some studies have shown that long-term use of bisphosphonates may actually weaken bones over time, leading to femur fractures, jaw damage, and other joint breaks.
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and affects one in 19 men. According to the American Cancer Society, the best way to lower one’s chances of developing the disease is through screening, which enables doctors to detect and remove precancerous growths before they can spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends regular screenings after age 50 and screening before that age if you suffer from IBS or have a family history of colorectal cancer.


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