The research scientists team, headed by Dr. Gadi Rennert, director of the Clalit Health Services' National Israeli Cancer Control Center, compared 933 Israeli women who suffered from colorectal cancer to a similar number of healthy women of the same age, ethnic origin and place of residence. All of the women were interviewed extensively about their medical and family history, and about the medicine they take.
2nd most common cancer
The study found that women who took Bisphosphonate drugs (such as Fosalan, Alendronate and Etidronate), which treat osteoporosis, for at least a year, reduced their risk of getting colorectal cancer.
Even when factoring in other factors that might influence the results - such as vegetable consumption, physical activity, weight, family history of cancer and the intake of Vitamin D and high cholesterol medication - the difference in morbidity rates between women who take anti-osteoporosis drugs and those who don't remains significantly large.
Last year, the same research team concluded that osteoporosis medications reduce the risk of breast cancer by a third. Additional studies that were conducted around the world show that these drugs also reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence in those who had the disease and are in remission.
Cancer of the large intestine follows breast cancer as the second most common type of cancer to occur among Israelis. The disease occurs more commonly in men than in women. The incidence of the disease is higher in both men and women over the age of 50. On average, nine Israelis are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and four die of it every day.
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