Blood pressure drugs are one of the most common and widespread medical treatments in the U.S. today. And breast cancer is generally the No. 1 concern of women in the U.S.
So, why has it taken until now to perform a study on the risk of breast cancer from long-term treatment with blood pressure drugs?
For years, the NCI has supported research into dietary factors that may increase cancer rates.
But it seems that in order to find the risk factors that really increase cancer, they should be looking at drugs, not foods.
Turns out, calcium-channel blocking blood pressure drugs cause double to triple the risk of breast cancer.1
Believe it or not, this finding comes from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle. The same organization I told you about previously in this issue. The one that just published their clueless study on fish oil and prostate cancer, and then selectively and wildly over- interpreted their suspicious “results.”
But now they seem determined to under-interpret their shocking discovery regarding blood pressure drugs and breast cancer.
In fact, they were quick to say there was no reason to change clinical practice in any way. Despite the fact that women who took the calcium- channel drugs for 10 years or more were two-to-three times more likely to develop invasive lobular breast cancer (2.6 times) or invasive ductal breast cancer (2.4 times).
These cancer-causing, calcium-channel blood pressure drugs are now among the most frequently prescribed medications in the U.S. They account for nearly 98 million of the 678 million prescriptions filled per year.
The Seattle researchers expressed “surprise” at their findings (again, having had no apparent hypothesis, to test in the first place). But other scientists suspect that these drugs increase cancer risk by preventing apoptosis. Apoptosis is a kind of programmed cell death.
Ironically, independent scientists have confirmed that in terms of design and statistical analysis, this was a “first-rate” study. Yet this Center’s poorly designed, mis-interpreted study on fish oil and prostate cancer was shamelessly shouted from the roof tops.
Now they’ve conducted a better designed study with a drastic conclusion that affects 100 million women, nearly tripling their rate of breast cancer. And what do they conclude? Nothing.
If you are taking a calcium channel blocker for blood pressure, consult with your doctor to see if you might be able to switch to another blood pressure medication. When it comes to choosing a blood pressure drug, the safest course of action is to work with your doctor to choose one that’s been around for many years. As I always say, newer is not always better—or safer.
I outlined many of these other drug options on page 4 of my report The Insider’s Secret to Conquering High Blood Pressure and Protecting Your Heart. You can access this report for free by logging on to the subscriber section of my website, drmicozzi.com, with your username and password.
Just remember, everyone is an individual and may react differently to different medications. It may take some trial and error, with very close monitoring, to find the right medication for you. But the time you invest could very well save your life.
1. “Use of Antihypertensive Medications and Breast Cancer Risk Among Women Aged 55 to 74 Years,” JAMA Internal Medicine 2013; published online August 5