Metformin is a widely used medication for treating diabetes. The drug was developed in the 1920s, but it took decades before it became widely used. Metformin wasn’t available in the Canada until 1972 or the United States until 1995. Many health professionals have become concerned about Metformin in recent years, as it is shown to be less effective than hoped and poses a number of potential side effects.
Although studies have created some questions as to how effective the medication is in reducing the likelihood of patients developing the disease, it may have a benefit not previously anticipated. According to new research, Metformin may reduce the risk of elderly women developing breast cancer.
TheÂ Journal of Clinical Oncology published the findings of a new study that showed the diabetes drug may be effective in treating breast cancer. According to the study conducted by researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, older women taking Metformin were 25% less likely to develop breast cancer.Â Several other studies have been published which reported that the drug may prevent various forms of cancer.
This new study examined how diabetes, breast cancer and metformin use were interrelated.Â Dr. Rowan Chlebowski and his colleagues evaluated more than 68,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. All women were involved in the Women’s Health Initiative Project. Over 3,000 of the participants had diabetes and about the same number suffered from breast cancer.
Chlebowski and the other researchers realized that the Women’s Health Initiative Project was a rich source of data for their study. The project had a large database with women who were diagnosed with diabetes. The database had detailed information on what medications these patients were receiving. This made it possible for researchers to study the correlations between different medications and the likelihood of developing other diseases.
Chlebowski and his team said the findings were compelling, but people shouldn’t get too excited until more research is done. They warn women that the data so far is inconclusive and the phenomenon will need more research before they can draw an accurate conclusion. Other studies have shown women taking Metformin were at a lower risk of developing breast cancer, but they have not established a cause and effect relationship.
[box type=”important”]Before any recommendations can be made, researchers will want to be able to show how Metformin can reduce the risk of developing cancer. A couple of theories have been presented, but researchers don’t have nearly enough evidence to support them at this time.[/box]