By: Rae Johnston
Research suggests they can stop tumours spreading to the bones – and cut the risk of dying from a breast tumour by 60 per cent
DRUGS costing 43p each could slash the risk of dying from breast cancer.
Women take bisphosphonates to fight bone-thinning osteoporosis.
Research suggests they can stop tumours spreading to the bones when they are given to women in the early stages of breast cancer.
But scientists in Seattle, US, found they also cut the risk of dying from a breast tumour by 60 per cent.
Previous studies have hinted the cheap pills could protect women with breast cancer against the spread of the disease.
But the latest investigation suggests the benefits may be even greater than previously thought.
Cancer charities last night welcomed the findings but warned many women in the UK are being denied access to the drugs.
Melanie Sturtevant, policy manager at Breast Cancer Now, said: “We know bisphosphonates have great potential to improve the outcomes of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
“They are cheap, well-tolerated and widely-available drugs proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer spreading to the bone and becoming incurable in post-menopausal patients.
“If given routinely to all post-menopausal patients, bisphosphonates have the potential to prevent ten per cent of all breast cancer deaths in the UK.”
Ms Sturtevant added: “We now hope to see NHS England provide clear commissioning guidance to CCGs, to ensure these life-saving drugs are made available to all women that could benefit from them.”
The disease affects 58,000 women in the UK a year and kills 11,000.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.