What are bisphosphonates?
Bisphosphonates are drugs that may be used to reduce the risk of primary breast cancer spreading to the bones and other parts of the body in women who have been through the menopause.
The two drugs used to treat primary breast cancer are:
Bisphosphonates may also be prescribed:
- for people who are at risk of, or who have, osteoporosis
- as treatment for secondary breast cancer in the bone
How they work
Bisphosphonates slow down or prevent bone damage. You may hear bisphosphonates called bone-hardening or bone-strengthening treatment.
Research has shown bisphosphonates may reduce the risk of breast cancer spreading to the bones and elsewhere in the body in post-menopausal women being treated for primary breast cancer.
The benefits of using them before the menopause are less clear.
Side effects of bisphosphonates
Like all drugs bisphosphonates have some side effects. These vary according to which drug you’re having and your treatment team will explain them to you.
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