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Some blood pressure meds boost women's pancreatic cancer risk

Pancreatic cancer can be one of the most devastating forms of the progressive disease for patients in Florida, especially as it often develops before being detected. Research suggests that some drugs that are prescribed to treat high blood pressure can increase the chances of women developing this particularly deadly form of cancer. A large study of women after menopause found that those who had taken a short-acting calcium channel blocker (CCB) had a 66 percent higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Women who had used short-acting CCBs for three or more years faced a doubled risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Study authors noted that no such increased risk was associated with other types of blood pressure drugs. Those drugs that could create the increased risk include short-acting nifedipine, nicardipine and diltiazem. At the same time that the risk of pancreatic cancer showed a notable increase, women's overall risk of developing it remained quite low. Only 1.6 percent of Americans, regardless of their medical history, will develop pancreatic cancer during their lives.

On many occasions, women and men can react differently to various types of treatment and medication, and proper treatment for one sex can be physically damaging to the other. Study researchers noted that the results were unexpected; however, they said that this class of drugs were not highly effective for reducing blood pressure. This means that the women in the study may have been at higher risk due to their blood pressure never being adequately controlled.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had previously discouraged doctors from prescribing short-acting nifedipine, as it was linked to increased risks of stroke or heart attack. People who have developed pancreatic cancer or heart disease after being diagnosed with one of these drugs may wish to consult a medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer might be able to review their situation and provide advice about moving forward.

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