DES pregnancy drug breast cancer risk
Pregnancy drug DES “ diethylstilbstrol may cause increased risk of breast cancer, new research suggests.
The pregnancy drug DES, used to protect against miscarriage and help prevent morning sickness was commonly used in the US.
But new research suggests that daughters of women who took the drug during pregnancy may suffer from an increased risk of breast cancer.
DES was prescribed to women in many countries worldwide including the UK and the US up until 1975.
Scientists at Boston University said women whose mothers took DES - diethylstilbstrol had a 40% increased risk of breast cancer.
The danger posed by DES increases with age.
Women over 40 who had taken DES were found to be 90% more likely to develop breast cancer.
The danger increases as women approach menopause, with the risk appearing to treble for women over 50.
It was also found that a higher amount of the drug increased the risk of breast cancer further.
The scientists compared rates of the disease in 4,000 daughters of those who took DES and 2,000 who had not taken the drug.
DES pregnancy drug advice
Advice to those women who were prenatally exposed to DES is that they should have regular breast cancer screening.
DES was withdrawn after children suffered disorders of the reproductive system, including cancers of the vagina and low sperm counts and increased risk of testicular cancer in men.
DES Action UK spoke out about the dangers associated with DES and advocated regular breast cancer screening and care.
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