Osteoporosis Drugs Might Not Raise Cancer Risk

"Esophageal cancer occurs extremely rarely, thus, while one should be concerned about a potential increase in risk, a doubling of a very, very rare cancer is still a rare event," Solomon stated. "Fractures are not rare events, and bisphosphonates are proven beneficial in many types of patients at reducing fracture risk.

"What is the risk of a hip fracture?" asked Dr. Lucas Wong, an associate professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and co-director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at Scott & White. "An elderly woman can be debilitated and even die from a fracture. Ideally, we should find ways to prevent disease as every drug we take puts us at some kind of risk."

More information

Visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation for more on how to prevent and treat this condition.

SOURCES: Daniel H. Solomon, M.D., chief, clinical research, division of rheumatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and associate professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Robert C. Ashton Jr., M.D., director, thoracic surgery, Moses Division, and director, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Lucas Wong, M.D., associate professor, internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, co-director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, and principal investigator, Community Clinical Oncology Program, Scott & White; April 23, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine

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