Osteoporosis Drugs Won’t Prevent Breast Cancer

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that women who take drugs to treat osteoporosis will not lower their risk of developing breast cancer as previously thought.

HealthDay reported that the drugs, known as bisphosphonates, were once thought of as a source for reducing a woman's chances of developing breast cancer. However, researchers found that there is no link between risk and the bone-strengthening drugs.

The study, published in the Aug. 11 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine, suggested that the risk-reducer may actually be lower estrogen levels.

Researchers gave approximately 6,500 women between the ages of 55 and 81 either a placebo or Fosamax, a popular drug that treats osteoporosis. According to HealthDay, after four years, those who were on the osteoporosis drug and the placebo experienced similar breast cancer results.

According to HealthDay, another study reported that more than 7,700 women aged 65 to 89 were given a Reclast, another osteoporosis drug, or placebo intravenous infusion once a year. After three years, less than one percent of women from each group was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Women who get bisphosphonates have a low bone mass density," Trisha Hue, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a statement. "If you have low bone mass density, you probably have low estrogen. This is because the hormone, which is depleted after menopause, helps regulate bone mass and strength. Many types of breast cancer need estrogen to grow."

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