A story by Med Page Today highlights a recent study conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The study found a possible association between extended use of calcium-channel blockers and breast cancer.
Calcium-channel blockers are a commonly prescribed medication for high blood pressure. Examples of these include Cardizem and Norvasc along with many others. In postmenopausal women, the risk of breast cancer doubled for those who have been taking this medicine for at least 10 years.
The study examined two forms of breast cancer, ductual and lobular. In both cases, the risk was increased about two and a half times for those who had exposure to calcium-channel blocking medication. The breast cancer risk was nearly quadruple for women currently using short-acting calcium-channel blockers.
While the evidence is inconclusive and does not imply causation, the results are statistically significant. The researchers stated that, “further efforts to confirm this association are needed and are of public health importance, given that antihypertensive drugs are the most commonly prescribed class of medication in the United States.”
The article, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, also notes that other antihypersive agents such as diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers do not have the same association as calcium-channel blockers.
Currently, the researchers are advising that no clinical action be taken. They are calling for further studies to confirm these findings. In doing so, a major and preventable risk for breast cancer may be identified.
You should consult with your doctor before making any changes to your current medical treatment. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with breast cancer after taking Cardizen, Norvasc, or other hypertension medication, you can contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free consultation.