In a recently published study, shocking revelations regarding the anti-breast cancer drug exemestane have come out. The study says that the women, who take this drug, should have regular check-ups of their bones in order to assess the risks of fractures. This is because consuming exemestane increases the process of losing bone density. In order to assess the effectiveness of the drug, the study involved analysing four thousand five hundred women in their post-menopausal stage. These women were chosen from amongst those women who were part of a family, which had a history of breast cancer.
Exemestane is an aromatase inhibitor. Therefore, it is able to reduce the levels of oestrogen in women. This in turn helps to curb the cancer cells as they feed on the oestrogen to grow. Exemestane is extremely effective in doing this and thus greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer. The results from the tests performed in the study showed that the drug cut the risk involved to nearly one third of what they could be if the women were not taking exemestane. However, a sub-study was conducted by the researchers in Canada. The researchers were bone specialists and they measured the bone density of three hundred and fifty one women, who were under the influence of either exemestane (Aromasin) or a placebo.
The results were extremely shocking as the researchers found out that the women who were taking the drug suffered from an increase in the loss of bone density at the distal radius. Distal radius is a common fracture point on the wrist. The other part that was suffering from this was the lower end of the tibia. Apart from this, there was one more side effect of taking the drug. The women also suffered from the reduction in the thickness of their bone’s outer covering that acts as a protective outer shell. The reduction in thickness was 8 per cent in the cortical bone.
Angela Cheung was the lead author of the study. Angela Cheung is from the Toronto’s University Health Network. She said that apart from going for the regular check-ups for monitoring the density of their bones, the women who are taking exemestane must always take sufficient amounts of calcium and Vitamin D. She said that these minerals, which are extremely important for the bones of your body, could be taken in the form of supplements like pills and capsules. This will help tackle the problem of decrease in the bone density.