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Heart disease drug Digoxin linked to higher breast cancer

Researchers in Denmark found that women using Digoxin to treat heart problems were more likely to develop breast cancer, according to a new report by Reuters.

The new findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and were conducted by Dr. Robert Biggar of Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, using two separate databases that looked at women over the age of 20 on digoxin and women who were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women who had stopped using digoxin had the same levels of breast cancer risk as those who had never been on the drug, while those who were still using digoxin at the time of the study were 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

The scientists caution that while these numbers are significant, this research does not meant that digoxin causes breast cancer. There is a hypothesis that digoxen may act like estrogen in the body, thus fueling breast cancer.

About 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in developed countries. The scientists say that digoxin's benefits for the heart may outweigh the breast cancer risks, but patients should consult their doctors.
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