Today, we're featuring a blog post by S. Adams. As many of you know, I've been interested in the environmental impacts that cause cancer. Today's entry touches on one aspect of that. Thank you for contributing this very important perspective.
Developing cancer can be one of the most devastating things that can happen to a person. The instant your doctor utters the words, “You have cancer” your mind runs an emotional gamut. Fear, uncertainty, sadness, hope, love, anxiety, anger, despair. Cancer is the nightmare no one wishes to wake up with. The resolve to fight for your life, and live it to it's fullest becomes your focus. There are many unknowns about cancer, and gradually scientists are learning more about what may cause cancer, and how to treat it. While a cure for cancer is still being researched, we as individuals must do what we can and avoid those things which we know can cause cancer.
Carcinogens are cancer causing chemicals. The most well known carcinogens are cigarette smoke, asbestos, benzene, and formaldehyde. These chemicals are found in everyday items such as building materials, glues, detergents, plastics, pesticides, lubricants, paper products, cosmetics, air deodorizers, carpets, and more. It may be hard to avoid items with these chemicals, as they are chemicals used in so many products, and you may not realize how much you are being exposed to them.
With what is known about causes of cancer, it will come as a shock that there are prescription drugs, commonly prescribed medicines, that have been shown to cause cancer in animals. Yet, they are still readily available. One reason they are likely still available is that the big drug makers, with their monetary ties to the FDA, insist more research has to be done on these medicines before they should be considered being labeled with extraneous warnings.
Millions of women experiencing menopause have taken HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to ease their symptoms. HRT boosts estrogen levels, which can promote both breast and uterine cancer development. How many women have used this to relieve their menopausal symptoms, only to develop some form of cancer as a result? We will never know.
Drugs that have been found to cause cancer in rats range from heartburn medications to blood pressure and cholesterol lowering drugs. Prilosec (heartburn), Aldactazine, Aldactone (both blood pressure meds), Zocor, Lopid, Mevacor, Lescol, and Pravachol (cholesterol lowering drugs) have all been found to be a cause of cancer in animals, and have been linked to increased occurrences of cancer by patients who have taken these drugs.
Do the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risk? The risk of developing cancer is not one to take lightly! The fact that there are even more prescription drugs being researched as being the causes of cancer is disgusting.
There is research being done after scientific research has determined pancreatic cancer to be a Januvia side effect. Januvia is a billion dollar money making diabetes drug produced by Merck, and being the big money maker that is, Merck defends the drug against naysayers, saying more research needs to be done to back up these claims. With similar diabetes drugs, Byetta and Victoza having been found to increase the risk of cancer, expedited research should be required. Are the manufacturers of these drugs hiding research results for the sake of increased profit? With so many drugs being questioned, this certainly seems, sadly, a possibility.
The FDA warns against using the topical eczema ointments Elidel and Protopic in children under two as these medicines are associated with lymphoma and skin cancers. The warning goes on to include that “the long term safety of these drugs is unknown.” As you can read here, the maker of the drug found no reason for a warning to be added to the medicines.
As a consumer, it is in your interest to know the risks associated with prescription drugs that you are taking. Sites like DrugNews.net issue safety alerts, FDA recalls, and important medical industry news that can keep buyers aware of news that may be happening outside mainstream media. Being informed about the side effects and risks associated with medicines is another way to be be prudent in avoiding health risks.
People taking medicine trust their doctors and they trust the makers of the drugs they are taking. It is absurd that so many medicines have been linked to increasing the risk of cancer development, and the FDA should require more research into these drugs, quantifying the risk, instead of asking consumers to ignore the risk completely. Cancer should not be a risk that should be given or taken so lightly.