Women who consume medicines commonly used to treat osteoporosis and other bone conditions halve the risk of developing uterine cancer compared to women who do not use such drugs, shows a study.
Previous studies have shown that bisphosphonates, a class of drugs known to prevent bone loss, have anti-tumour effects, including the ability to keep tumour cells from multiplying and from invading normal tissues.
“Other studies have shown that bisphosphonates may reduce the risk of certain cancers, but we are the first to show that the risk for endometrial cancer may also be reduced,” said lead researcher Sharon Hensley Alford from Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, US.
Endometrial cancer, which arises in the lining of the uterus, accounts for nearly 50 percent of gynaecologic cancers diagnosed in the US.
The study involved data from a total of 29,254 women.
The researchers analysed data for only those bisphosphonates that contain nitrogen as these are known to have stronger anti-cancer activity.
The study accounted for various factors including age, race, history of hormone therapy use, smoking status, and body mass index.
The study appeared online in the journal Cancer.