New studies have found that the risk of developing breast cancer became twice as likely in postmenopausal women that took calcium channel blockers of 10 years or more. What’s more, according to the findings, the chances for developing lobular or Ductal breast cancer went up by an estimated two and a half times in women taking calcium blocker therapy for long periods of time. The risk did not significantly differ by estrogen receptor status, or by the types of calcium channel receptor antagonists.
The study was done by Christopher I. Li, MD, PhD, with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle and his team of researchers.
They found that there was no increased risk for developing breast cancer among women that were taking beta-blockers, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers), and in an article published on the JAMA Internal Medicine website, the team has said that it will be necessary to do more tests to confirm the link between calcium-channel blockers and breast cancer because it could pose a serious health risk. This is especially true since so many antihypertensive medications are the kind that is most often prescribed in the US.
The study findings do offer strong evidence that taking calcium channel blockers can increase the risk for post menopausal women to develop breast cancer. However, one health care professional has said that it is not yet time to begin taking action with patients currently taking these medications.
It will take time to confirm that two and threefold risk found in the study is accurate, then it would be necessary to begin considering the risks over the benefits. For this reason, many feel that it is essential that further research be done on the subject.
There have been surprisingly few studies to look at the relationship between breast cancer and antihypertensive medications. Eight of 12 studies done on the subject found that there was no link between the medications and four found links between an increased risk of breast cancer and calcium channel blockers and diuretics.
In the most recent study, research found that women that took a calcium channel blocker for a minimum of 10 years had odds ratios of about 2.6 of developing invasive lobular breast cancer, and about 2.4 of developing invasive Ductal carcinoma.
The study data did suggest a higher risk of developing breast cancer in those that are currently taking short acting calcium channel blockers.