Health - Fight Cancer News

May 3, 2010 5:05 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Communicate with doctors about cancer drug risks

If you're undergoing cancer therapy, it's important to talk with your doctor about side effects from the drugs you're given.

The Food and Drug Administration is looking into data suggesting a group of prostate cancer drugs increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The drugs are used to suppress the hormone testosterone, which fuels the growth of prostate cancer tumors. Occasionally the drugs are used by women to treat pain from uterine fibroids.

The FDA says it has not conclusively linked the drugs to health problems, but preliminary data from six studies showed slightly higher rates of diabetes and heart disease in patients taking the drugs. The agency recommends doctors monitor patients carefully for early signs of diabetes and heart disease.

Drugs under scrutiny include AstraZeneca's Zoladex, Pfizer's Synarel and Abbott Laboratory's Lupron, among others.

If you're newly diagnosed with cancer, contact the Dorcy Cancer Center at St. Mary Corwin Hospital. Caring doctors and other health professionals will take the time to explain treatment options, as well as inform you about all potential side effects.

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