One of the most popular medications for type 2 diabetes, metformin, may reduce the likelihood of death from cancer.
What Is Metformin?
Metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet) was originally derived from an herbal remedy dating back hundreds of years. Galega officinalis (also called French lilac, though it is not a lilac, or goat’s rue) had a reputation for controlling symptoms related to high blood sugar. It has become a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes.
How Does Metformin Affect Your Chance of Death from Cancer?
In recent years, metformin has been associated with a lower likelihood of developing certain cancers. We have written about that research here. It may also improve the likelihood of success with radiation treatment, as we wrote here.
The new study published in the International Journal of Cancer tracked 145,826 postmenopausal women. They were participants in the Women’s Health Initiative between 1993 to 1998.
Which Cancers Were Affected?
Those with diabetes were at increased risk for developing a range of cancers of the colon, endometrium, pancreas and liver. But if women were taking metformin to control their their type 2 diabetes, they were less likely to develop many of these hard-to-treat cancers and their chance of death from cancer was reduced.