Interesting new research was released this week detailing an international study about an inexpensive and relatively safe diabetes drug, metformin, that may help post-menopausal women stave off cancer.


The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that diabetic women who took metformin had a 25 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer than their peers, and that includes more than a decade of followup.


The new study used data from almost 70,000 postmenopausal women who took part in the U.S. government-funded Women's Health Initiative clinical trials. The women were followed and evaluated for 12 years. 


"Metformin use in post-menopausal women with diabetes was associated with lower incidence of invasive breast cancer," said lead researcher Rowan Chlebowski at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.


Millions of type 2 diabetics currently use metformin daily help control their blood sugar. In previous animal studies, researchers have found that the medication shrinks lung and breast tumors in mice. This study was the first to look at the effects of metformin on post-menopausal women.


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