04 21 2015
  2:48 am  
     •     
40 Years of Service

LONDON (AP) -- Some of the world's most popular blood pressure pills may slightly increase your risk of getting cancer, but doctors say it's too soon to ditch the drugs, according to new research.
In an analysis of five previous studies following about 60,000 patients, experts found a link between people taking medicines known as angiotensin-receptor blockers, or ARBs, and cancer. The drugs are taken by millions of people worldwide for conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetic kidney disease.
In the analysis, researchers found that people who took the drugs had about a 1 percent higher risk of getting cancer than people who weren't on the drugs. This included a whole range of cancers - prostate, breast and a noticable spike in lung cancer.
About 85 percent of those people were on telmisartan, sold as Micardis, made by Boehringer Ingelheim Corp. There was no difference in the rate of cancer deaths in people on the drugs compared to those not on them.
The study was published Monday in the medical journal, Lancet Oncology. No funding was provided for the study, but Dr. Ilke Sipahi, the study's lead author, has received past payments from drug makers Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca PLC and Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., which all make blood pressure drugs. Other authors reported similar grants from other pharmaceuticals.
"The risk for the individual patient is modest," said Sipahi, associate director of heart failure and transplantation at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. "However, when you look at it from the population level, millions and millions of people are on these drugs and it can cause a lot of excess cancer worldwide."
Sipahi and colleagues calculated that one extra cancer case will occur for every 105 people taking the medications for about four years. He said there wasn't enough information to know if this increased cancer risk disappears once people stop taking the medications.
The maker of the most-used drug in the study, Boehringer Ingelheim, disputed the findings and said Micardis is one of the best-researched drugs worldwide. The company claimed in a statement that it had "internal safety data" contradicting the Lancet study. According to studies run by the pharmaceutical, there was no link between increased cancer risk and Micardis.
Sipahi warned patients not to stop taking their drugs, and recommended they consult their doctor if they were concerned.
Since completing the analysis, Sipahi said he now thinks twice about whether to prescribe the drugs. But he said many heart patients couldn't take other drugs because of their side effects and they should continue taking ARBs since their chances of dying from heart failure outweighed their chances of getting cancer.
Scientists aren't sure why ARBs might raise the possibility of developing cancer, though some animal studies suggest the medications help produce new blood vessels, which would speed tumor growth.
In an accompanying commentary in the Lancet Oncology, Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, described the study as "disturbing and provocative." He called for regulatory agencies to order drug makers to submit more data on their products and to promptly report their findings.
Michael Thun, vice-president emeritus of epidemiology and surveillance at the American Cancer Society, said the study underlined how hard it is to pick up potentially dangerous side effects in drugs once they are on the market. He was not connected to the study.
Because cancer can take decades to develop, Thun said it's impossible to know if a new drug can cause cancer in the future before it goes on sale. "There's a tension between making drugs available in a timely way and detecting some cancer effect in the long term that you didn't expect," he said.
Thun also added it would be important to determine if it was a single drug linked to cancer, like Micardis, or if the entire class of drugs was implicated.
Read more about the issue at http://www.lancet.com and http://www.cancer.org

Pacific NW Carpenters Union

Commenting Guidelines

  • Keep it clean: Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language
  • No personal attacks: We reserve the right to remove offensive comments
  • Be truthful: Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything
  • Be nice: No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person
  • Help us: If you see an abusive post, let us know at info@theskanner.com
  • Keep to topic: We will remove irrelevant posts and spam
  • Share with us: We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts; the history behind an article

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
    Read More
  • Some lawmakers, sensing a tipping point, are backing the parents and teachers who complain about 'high stakes' tests   
    Read More
  • Watch Rachel Maddow interview VA Secretary Robert McDonald  
    Read More
  • Some two thousand people pack halls to hear Trayvon Martin's mom speak   
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Carpentry Professionals

PHOTO GALLERY

Calendar

About Us

Breaking News

The Skanner TV

Turn the pages

Portland Opera Showboat 2
The Skanner Photo Archives