Diabetes Medicine and Breast Cancer
To me, this is more evidence of the complexity and elegance of our bodies. This also supports the enormous difficulties and serendipities of science. How did it ever occur to anyone to explore a link between diabetes medicine and breast cancer risk? I have been hearing about this from my husband for some years as he has a close friend who speculated about a link and began to research the possibilities. No one is suggesting that we should all start taking metformin, but this is one more step in eventual (we hope) success with prevention. For those of you with an interest in science, here is the summary from BreastCancer.org:
Diabetes Medicine Linked to Lower Risk
A number of studies have suggested a link between diabetes, diabetes treatments, and cancer risk, including breast cancer risk. Sorting out these links can be challenging since some factors linked to diabetes -- poor diet or being overweight/obese, for example -- also are linked to higher breast cancer risk.
A large study has found that diabetic women taking the medicine metformin (brand names: Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet), which is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes had a lower-than-average-risk of breast cancer.
The study was published online June 11, 2012 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the abstract of "Diabetes, Metformin, and Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women."
Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes.
Women taking other medicines for diabetes had a slightly higher-than-average risk of breast cancer. The researchers think that the lower-than-average breast cancer risk in women taking metformin suggests how diabetes affects breast cancer risk.