Miracle breast cancer pill that costs just 14 cents a day brings hope to millions

Millions of women could have their chances of developing breast cancer slashed with a tablet used to treat diabetes that costs just 14 cents a day

 Dense fears: Scan shows tissue in breasts

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The discovery of a link between cheap diabetes treatments and a dramatic reduction in the risk of breast cancer could bring hope to millions of potential victims.
And medical experts welcomed news that 14 cents-a-day pill metformin could slash the chances of getting the leading cause of the disease by 40%.
The tablet reduces a woman’s risk of having dense breasts – which contain less fatty tissue and more
non-fatty tissue such as milk-making and draining glands. It is a major factor behind tumour development.
But the study also found taking insulin appears to double the risk of having denser breasts.
Lead researcher Dr Zorana Jovanovic Andersen will today present the ­findings of a Danish study that found the link to the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam.

The University of Southern Denmark scientist said: “We found women with diabetes, who take oral medication or control it by diet only, have lower breast density than women without diabetes. Both groups have about 40% lower odds of having dense breasts, than women without diabetes.”

This is the first time breast density risk coupled with diabetes treatments has been studied. The discovery may pave the way for drugs like metformin, used to control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, to be ­recommended for cancer ­prevention.

Chair of the Amsterdam conference Professor Fatima Cardoso said: “This study shows clearly that a link between diabetes treatment and breast density, an important risk factor for the disease, has been made.
“I hope this will lead to further research into the effect of cheap, easily available drugs such as metformin, not just on breast density, but on breast cancer risk overall.”
Women with dense breasts are up to six times more likely to develop a mammary tumour.
The research involved 5,644 women who attended mammographic screening between 1993 and 2001.

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It was also found 44 of them who controlled diabetes by diet alone were less likely to have dense breasts.

Breast Cancer Care chief executive Samia al Qadhi said: “These findings offer a fascinating insight into the impact different diabetes ­treatments may have on breast density. This could improve the way we screen women with dense breasts. The less dense, the easier it may be to detect cancer.
“But we must remember no one risk factor can be looked at in ­isolation. The biggest for breast cancer remain the same… being female, and getting older.”
Scientists say it is unclear why dense breasts increase the chances of developing cancer. More than 50,000 British women are diagnosed with the disease every year.

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