With October being breast cancer awareness month a research is showing that commonly used blood pressure drugs could cut the risk of breast cancer spreading.
Beta-blockers are generally used for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and anxiety.
An investigation conducted by UK cancer research scientists presented early results of whether beta-blockers control the spread of breast cancer and can improve survival to The Royal Society of Medicine.
Data from 800 patients has already shown those previously given beta blockers had half the chance of their cancer spreading as women who had not.
Doctors cannot move straight to this kind of study because they need to have more evidence that there is a beneficial effect of taking beta blockers first.
Dr Des Powe, from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, is working on the research in collaboration with scientists from Belfast and Germany.
“We are hypothesising that maybe some of these patients could have their cancer controlled by beta-blockers,” said Dr Des Powe.
Scientists believe the drugs inhibit a key molecular pathway involved in the growth and spread of breast cancers fueled by the Estrogen.
“It is absolutely crucial to conquer cancer spread if we are to really improve breast cancer survival as this problem causes nearly all deaths from the disease,” Dr Des Powe added.
Breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body is the biggest cause of death from the disease.
It5 is thought that though about 30% of breast cancers spread, yet these account for up to 90% of all deaths from the disease.