We are 224,835 members in 82 forums discussing 157,969 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: Connection Between Spironolactone and Breast Cancer?

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: Apr 12, 2010 07:56AM

barb3246 wrote:

Has anyone ever heard about a connection between Spironolactone and breast cancer?  This drug is  diuretic that is also used to treat acne.  I have taken this for several years, and I am at high-risk for breast cancer, so I was very concerned when I read about a possible connection.

I have posted an excerpt below from one of the articles I found online:

"Spironolactone is usually well tolerated, but just as with any medication, side effects are possible. Common side effects include irregular menses, midcycle spotting, breast tenderness, and headaches. Very rarely, Spironolactone can cause a rash, liver, kidney or blood problems. Questions have been raised about whether this drug can cause breast cancer or thyroid cancer; to date, no link has been shown. It is known that the drug can stimulate breast tissue, and can cause gynecomastia in men; because of this it is not recommended in women with an immediate family history of breast cancer."

Barb
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 1 (28 results)

Posts 1 - 28 (28 total)

Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2010 11:56AM - edited Apr 12, 2010 11:58AM by leaf

I  did a Pubmed search for spironolactone +breast cancer, and I couldn't find recent studies.

Here is a case report about a man who took spironolactone and got breast cancer and hemophilia. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15...

In this 1990 paper of 15 men who got breast cancer, almost half of them had a history of taking a spironolactone-type medication.   Of course, spironolactone was used more then. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2197584

This old study of over 300 women found no association between spironolactone and breast cancer. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7114041

There are 2 letters to Lancet about the possible association between breast cancer and spironolactone in the mid-1970s, but there is no abstract posted. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/49594

It doesn't sound like this is an area of current research, or at least there haven't been many recent studies I can find.

Classic LCIS.If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them- Isaac Asimov Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, ER+/PR- Surgery 1/24/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2006 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2010 01:18PM Mantra wrote:

I wasn't aware of any link however I too have been taking Aldactone for many many years.

Dx 7/10/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2010 03:13PM barb3246 wrote:

Leaf: Thanks for the information. I followed the links you provided, but how do I get to see the entire article, not just the abstract?

Barb
Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2010 08:11PM Joviangeldeb wrote:

I haven't heard of this either.  I've been on Spironolactone for years due to an adrenal gland problem called Primary Aldosteronism.  It's the only diuretic that stops me from having leg edema that goes up to my knees.  It also helps control my hypertension. I also take Toprol and these two combined are the only thing that works for me. Doctors tell me I can never come off of it so I hope the risk is very small.

Thanks for the info.

Debbie Dx 10/1/2007, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2010 09:50PM Mouser wrote:

Hi Barb --

I found the same abstracts as Leaf, but also several that state that spironolacone definitely binds to the androgen receptor --it acts as an antiandrogen. Although also old, several studiesdo  seem to agree that it causes breast development (gynecomastia) in men. How does that translate to breast cancer? Not sure ... my onc was reluctant to put me on a testosterone patch (for low libido); he said there's simply no data. Same seems to be true for anti-androgens?

As for getting the full article -- that may be tricky, unless you have access to a library that subscribes electronically to these journals (mostly university libraries, and not all of them either). Some articles may be open by now, since they are old --usually PubMed then says so. On the other hand, older articles may not be in e-form at all -- even if the abstract have been entered, the articles as a whole hasn't always.

One other alternative is to go to your local library and see if they will do interlbrary loan - it takes a while, but (at least in our university) results in a xerox of the article. Not sure if community libraries do that for journal articles, but worth a try. Some states have networks between university and community libraries, so you have access to interlibrary loan from all of them. (If you live near a public university, you might call and ask what they'll do for taxpayers.)

cheers, mouser

mouser - IDC 0.4 cm + DCIS 1 cm, 2007; Stage 1, grade 2, ER+PR-, Her-; lumpectomy, rads, letrozole. More calcs 2008; mastectomy. Quit letrozole 10/09.
Log in to post a reply

Apr 13, 2010 12:29PM Deg4 wrote:

I've taken this drug in the late 1980's and early 1990s for acne treatment that did not respond to conventional acne treatments.  I'm not sure if there is a link between it and breast cancer, however , I just had a needle biopsy done today on a lump that all the doctors who've looked at it feel is a benign lump, but for one reason or another I have a lot of dilated milk ducts.

My breasts did grow a bit bigger on this of course this good have been due to weight gain. I was also on birth control pills the entire time I took it.

I'll post an update once I get my results. Sorry not much help with your questions. Donna

Log in to post a reply

Apr 14, 2010 08:42AM barb3246 wrote:

I asked my breast surgeon about it, and she said that she hadn't heard about a connection between spironolactone and breast cancer, but said "why risk it?" and basically implied that I should stop taking it.  She said an oncologist would probably know more, but I don't have an oncologist.  Maybe one of you could ask your oncologist about it?

Barb
Log in to post a reply

Apr 19, 2010 07:43AM digger wrote:

I was on spironolactone for many years, and I too wondered if my being on it had any impact on my developing breast cancer.  To me, it seems like the spironolactone definitely wouldn't help, at least in theory.  If it's going to block the adrogens, then in my logical mind, it seems like more of the estrogen would be unopposed, and my tumor was highly ER+.  I have no family history, at least that I know, with breast cancer, so while I can't say for sure that spironolactone caused it, I would think that it definitely didn't help.  Just my two cents....

Log in to post a reply

Apr 19, 2010 08:03AM barb3246 wrote:

Digger:  Thanks for the response.  Did you ever ask your oncologist if she thought there was a connection between the two?

Barb
Log in to post a reply

Apr 19, 2010 08:34AM laurakay wrote:

Your post caught my eye.  I took spironolactone for two years--and I just had a bilateral mx for breast cancer.  I have to say, whether it was connected or not, I wish I'd never taken it, so I wouldn't have to wonder...My OB was very reassuring at the time that there was no connection, despite the warning.  I guess if I'd taken it because I needed it badly, that would be different, but there were really not that many benefits to me taking it.  My tumor was also ER+.

Log in to post a reply

Apr 19, 2010 12:27PM digger wrote:

I think I did ask, but, as I recall, she said probably not.  But then again, I have to wonder if she was just saying that to be nice, because the damage was already done (although I do have that remaining breast on my right side, so I'm hoping I haven't messed up that one as well...).  It just makes sense logically, that if I took a medication for a long period of time that suppressed the androgens and left the estrogens unopposed, it certainly didn't help the situation.

Log in to post a reply

Aug 22, 2011 03:58PM Jodie_73 wrote:

I know this a year out from the beginning of this post- but I was doing a search about this and came across this post.  I just found out this drug is considered a "tumorigen" in rats now.  I took this drug in the mid to late 90s for hirsutism (hair growth in women).  Now, I too wonder if it played a part in my breast cancer.  

Dx 2/16/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Aug 22, 2011 07:09PM barb3246 wrote:

Jodie_73:

Could you tell me where you read that new information about spironolactone? Is there a link to an article you could post here?

Thanks,

Barbara

Barb
Log in to post a reply

Aug 22, 2011 07:15PM bevin wrote:

I would be interested in that article too. I am on spironolcatone for high levels of DHEAS and testosterone which cause hair growth, acne etc.  I have been on it for 17 years as prescribed by my endocronologist.

My Oncologist is aware I take it and has never said anything about a connection with it and BC, but here I am BC in August 2010.  I will say, it worked wonders for, my acne and mail patttern hair loss both were readicated by the medication and nothing else worked. The issues I was experienceing were awful for a girl.

I'd be really interested in that recent tumorgen article you read.

Thanks

Bevin

Age 45, Oncotype 11, Primary Tumor 2.1 cm, smaller satellite tumor nearby Dx 8/8/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/10/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/10/2010 Breast
Log in to post a reply

Jan 19, 2012 11:42PM oregon wrote:


I wanted to comment on this as well.  I was on Spironolactone on/off for acne over the last 20 years.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer last December and my cancer was Estrogen+ 95%. I stopped taking it about 2 years ago.  So I'm wondering if the effects on the hormones are permanent or just temporary?   Any input appreciated. 
Log in to post a reply

Jan 21, 2012 05:12AM leaf wrote:

About 12% of the female population in the USA will  get breast cancer sometime in their lives, and many people have used spironolactone in the last 50 years.  So, just by chance, it is probable that many people who have used spironolactone would have both conditions.

Association is not the same as causation. Many people wear glasses,and many  of those same people have beds, but having a bed does not cause people to wear glasses, nor does wearing glasses cause people to go out and buy a bed.

In this drug info from the NIH, ihttp://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?id=59369 , it looks like studies that showed problems in mammals were either MANY, MANY times the usual dose given in humans, or there were conflicting studies. (I rarely see spironolactone doses as high as 100mg/day (I'm a pharmacist), and, for the average sized person, that would be not more than 2 mg/kg/day.)

Its almost impossible to prove a negative in science (for example,  that there is no association between spironolactone and breast cancer.)   But it certainly does not sound like there is any strong evidence of connection between spironolactone use and breast cancer in humans at doses that are used in humans.  At most, there may be a very weak association. Since we have not studied spironolactone in human fetuses, we have no information about that, but I don't think we're talking about our mothers using spironolactone during pregnancy.

It does not sound like the issue is an area of current research,or  at least they're not publishing in peer-reviewed journals listed in Pubmed.

Classic LCIS.If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them- Isaac Asimov Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, ER+/PR- Surgery 1/24/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2006 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Jan 21, 2012 11:39PM coraleliz wrote:

It was suggested I take this drug back in the 80's for the reason's listed above. I said no to it. I didn't want to take a diuretic. I think it might come down to maybe the less than optimal hormone levels that cause acne, unwelcome hair, elevated DHEAS............ that might have been a factor in getting BC.

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
Log in to post a reply

Oct 27, 2016 10:24AM Lovemymom69 wrote:

I was prescribed this medicine however with my mom's breast Cancer my aunts breast cancer and their mothers breast cancer I was concerned taking it for hormonal acne because my dermatologist said that you shouldn't take it if you have active breast Cancer tumors. After what's happened with my mother I know only a missed cell is all that has to be there and that can't always be detected. I called my obgyn who said she would do a mammogram on me if insurance allowed at my age if I wanted to take it. But wanted me on a good form of birth control. After having Infertility issues for the past (my whole life) I didn't want to be on birth control and other methods isn't an option either. So I have opted against this medicine as of now. Do you think that is the smart choice?

K.H.
Log in to post a reply

Oct 27, 2016 11:26AM Ddw79 wrote:

I'm

Sorry I cannot help. I don't know anything about this

Log in to post a reply

Apr 17, 2018 06:00PM Patwiley wrote:

I am thinking about taking Spironolactone for hair loss. But I did have beast cancer? I was told by the doctor that I could use a foam mixture of Spiro and Minoxidil but pharmacist told me it has a bad odor. I know I would not like this, so thinking about the pill form. One doctor said okay and the other no. I am estrogen positive, too. But with lichen planopilaris and chemo I have lost my hair, I think permanently on top. I have tried many things through my dermatologist and think this is the last effort. Anybody taken this drug? I would start off with small dose of course.

Log in to post a reply

Apr 30, 2018 02:29PM - edited Apr 30, 2018 02:31PM by fogpixie3650

I too am a DCIS breast cancer (estrogen receptive), patient who underwent bilateral mastectomy. My lymph nodes were clear. I have recently been diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia. The treatment plan is with Spironolactone (in addition to Biotin supplement and Rogaine 5%). After hearing that this drug allows estrogen to thrive I'm concerned. I also hate my hair loss condition. I'd appreciate hearing any information on breast cancer risk with this drug.

Dx 5/2013, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER+ Surgery 6/15/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement
Log in to post a reply

Apr 30, 2018 02:55PM - edited Apr 30, 2018 02:56PM by marijen

Spironolactone has a warning: it has caused breast cancer in rats. The warning is at www.drugs.com. I was on it when I was dx'd, and asked my heart doctor to change to Lasix. It can also cause suicide tendancies in young people. You can do a search for that.


Log in to post a reply

Apr 30, 2018 04:31PM Meg101 wrote:

I have been taking Spironolactone for 20 years; 100mg per day to control high blood pressure and stress. I asked my MO about taking it during chemo and with estrogen blocking hormones. She said new studies show Spironolactone works well with estrogen blocking hormones and may in fact help keep breast cancer in check. I continued to take Spironolactone through chemo, rads, and now with an AI and have had no problem. Also, it may be helping me with hair growth ;-) Spironolactone helps to keep Cortisol under control. If a person has too much Cortisol circulating in the body, the excess Cortisol can contribute to cancer. The Adrenal gland secretes Cortisol. If a person experiences long term stress, the Adrenals go into overdrive, thus secreting too much cortisol which causes high blood pressure, heart issues, strokes, and cancer. I hope this explanation helps those of you who have benefited from Spironolactone as much as I have.

Dx 7/14/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/18/2017 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Apr 30, 2018 04:33PM Meg101 wrote:

I have been taking Spironolactone for 20 years; 100mg per day to control high blood pressure and stress. I asked my MO about taking it during chemo and with estrogen blocking hormones. She said new studies show Spironolactone works well with estrogen blocking hormones and may in fact help keep breast cancer in check. I continued to take Spironolactone through chemo, rads, and now with an AI and have had no problem. Also, it may be helping me with hair growth ;-) Spironolactone helps to keep Cortisol under control. If a person has too much Cortisol circulating in the body, the excess Cortisol can contribute to cancer. The Adrenal gland secretes Cortisol. If a person experiences long term stress, the Adrenals go into overdrive, thus secreting too much cortisol which causes high blood pressure, heart issues, strokes, and cancer. I hope this explanation helps those of you who have benefited from Spironolactone as much as I have.

Dx 7/14/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/18/2017 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 27, 2019 11:05AM Yself wrote:

I have had breast cancer twice. Recently, March 29, 2019, I was prescribed spironolactone for high blood pressure. I was told nothing about this drug. NOTHING! I found a lump in my breast the 23 of March. I will have a mammogram tomorrow. NOT A HAPPY CAMPER.

Log in to post a reply

May 27, 2019 11:19AM MelissaDallas wrote:

This NEJM article describes a large study showing no increased breast cancer risk in women over 55.

https://www.jwatch.org/jw201208090000003/2012/08/09/does-spironolactone-raise-breast-cancer-risk


LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
Log in to post a reply

Jun 11, 2019 12:30PM Yself wrote:

I do not take studies seriously. My husband was given this drug in the latter part of 2003. He had CHF. He developed urinary incontinence, then a urologist found a cancer in his bladder. Not long after the surgery, we went to the Gulf where I saw him in a bathing suit for the first time in a long time. I was shocked to see his breasts were enlarged. Spironolactone.

Tumor growth is no longer listed among the side effects of Spironolactone nor does it have a Black box warning it deserves. Breast cancer is no longer listed as a possible side effect for Amlodipine, either, but I developed a second breast cancer after taking it.

I have read that breast cancer is rising among men.

Avastin was approved for metastatic breast cancer after a study I was asked to take part in, but declined. It was approved by the FDA, then approval was taken away because side effects were too dangerous and it didn't work. It was used anyway "off label for years.



Log in to post a reply

Jul 31, 2019 09:32AM Yself wrote:

My drug used to have a black box. My pharmacist told me she no papers that said this.

My husband was given this drug and it caused his breasts to grow. I have done a lot of research and have noticed that more than one med has had breast cancer or tumor growth erased from possible side effects. Yesterday, I was told by a young nurse practioner that calcium channel blockers do not cause breast cancer. Older doctors would not say that. I was prescribed amlodipine by young heart specialist fellow. I took it for 6 mos. Two months after an older doctor took me off, a mammogram showed I had a second breast cancer--after 12 years of being cancer free. Would I take another calcium channel blocker or any med that mimicked estrogen? No thanks.

Page 1 of 1 (28 results)