Osteoporosis Drugs Linked to Cancer Risk

Oral bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs, which include such Actonel, Boniva, and Fosamax, could be associated with an approximately twofold increased risk of esophageal cancer.

A new study showed that long-term users of the drugs had nearly double the risk for the rare but deadly cancer. Concerns about a link between bisphosphonates and esophageal cancer first reached the public a year and a half ago, when an FDA report cited 23 cases of the cancer in Fosamax users in the U.S., and another 31 cases in Europe and Japan.

WebMD reports:

“The ... analysis included close to 3,000 patients with cancer of the esophagus, 2,000 patients with stomach cancer, and 10,600 patients with colorectal cancer diagnosed between 1995 and 2005. Each cancer case was compared with five people without cancer matched for age and sex.”

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