According to recent medical studies, the type 2 diabetes drugs Byetta and Januvia can almost triple a patients risk of developing pancreatic cancer. According to a diabetes and pancreatic cancer study in Gastroenterology:
- Byetta users are 2.9x's more likely to develop pancreatic cancer;
- Januvia users are 2.7x's more likely to develop pancreatic cancer;
- Bydureon users are 2.9x's more likely to develop pancreatic cancer;
- Janumet users are 2.7x's more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and
- ACTOS users are 2.0x's more likely to develop bladder cancer.
On March 14, 2013 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that new research indicates diabetes drugs like Byetta, Januvia, Janumet, Victoza and Bydureon can cause “pre-cancerous” changes in pancreatic cells and therefore increase the risk of development of pancreatic cancer in those Byetta, Januvia, Bydureon and Janumet users.
Free & Confidential Diabetes Drug Cancer Lawsuit Help
If you or a loved one has developed pancreatic cancer that you think may be related to taking Januvia, Nesina, Janumet, Byetta and Bydureon for diabetes, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Please contact the Willis Law Firm and talk with a Pancreatic Cancer lawyer today to discuss your options in a Pancreatic Cancer lawsuit. All cases are taken on a Contingency Fee Bases- No Attorney Fees or Expenses Charged to you, unless we win.
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UCLA Study of Pancreatic Cancer Risks
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) medical school has suggested there may be an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer among type-2 diabetics who use prescription Januvia, Janumet, Byetta and Bydureon to treat their diabetes. UCLA researchers studied the pancreatic tissue in users of these drugs who died from unspecified causes and found there was an increased pancreatic mass by 40%. This increased pancreatic mass can lead to increased risk and death from pancreatic cancer.
The study has prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make an announcement that they are further looking into the research and have requested materials from the primary researchers. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, causing the fourth most cancer deaths in the United States.
Pancreatic cancer is likely so dangerous and deadly because it is very hard to diagnose the early symptoms and is typically not diagnosed until it is in later stages which are more difficult to treat properly.
Also an Increased Risk of Pancreatisis
Additionally, in February 2013, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) indicated these same drugs Januvia, Janumet, Byetta and Bydureon can double (2.0 x's) the risk of developing pancreatitis. Pancreatisis is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors
As mentioned previously, pancreatic cancer remains largely a mystery in the medical community. Doctors have not been able to pinpoint any specific gene or cause for pancreatic cancer in the body. However, there are some pancreatic cancer risk factors that have appeared to show some correlation to higher rates of pancreatic cancer. Some of the most common pancreatic cancer risk factors include:
- Smoking – as with many forms of cancer, doctors believe there is definitely an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer among regular smokers. It is also believed that the increased risk of pancreatic cancer becomes diminished back to normal if a smoker has quit for ten years.
- Age – pancreatic cancer is much more common as people age. Approximately 80% of those with pancreatic cancer are between the ages of 60 and 80.
- Race – research shows that pancreatic cancer is more common among African-Americans than Caucasians. This may be due to socioeconomic factors or due to an increased proportion of African American smokers.
- Gender – males are more likely to get pancreatic cancer than females, but this may also be related to a higher proportion of male smokers.
- Diet – a further risk factor of pancreatic cancer involves the patient’s diet. Diet’s high in cholesterol, meats, and fried foods increase the risk of pancreatic cancer while diets high in fruits and vegetables decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Pancreatic cancer can be very difficult to diagnose as mentioned earlier. The symptoms can be hard to pinpoint as pancreatic symptoms, but below is a list of symptoms that pancreatic cancer patients have described:
Sudden onset of diabetes – a study recently published by the Mayo Clinic suggested that a staggering 40% of pancreatic cancer patients had been diagnosed with diabetes approximately 1-2 years prior to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- Jaundice – jaundice describes the yellowing of the eyes or skin that is related to issues with the pancreas and the bile that it creates.
- Itchy skin – itchy skin is one of the less-known side effects of jaundice, therefore it would make sense that if jaundice may be an early pancreatic cancer symptom, the itchy skin would also be an early symptom.
- Lack of appetite – an Italian study found that about 6 months prior to being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, patients experienced a sudden lack of appetite and the propensity to feel full after eating small amounts of food.
- Changes in taste – the same Italian study found that patients with pancreatic cancer experienced changes in taste prior to being diagnosed. These changes in taste were not limited to food as some patients experienced a sudden aversion to alcohol, coffee, and smoking in some cases.
Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis
In order to obtain a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, there may be many steps that a doctor takes along the process. If a patient is suffering from some potential pancreatic cancer symptoms, a doctor will likely start by examining the patient’s medical history. They will be looking for some of the pancreatic cancer risk factors above as well as other signs of pancreatic cancer.
The doctor will then likely perform a cursory physical examination focusing on the abdominal region and checking for yellowish skin and eyes. If further examination is needed, the doctor will likely use some form of imaging technology to confirm or deny a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
The most common form of imaging used in pancreatic cancer diagnosis is a CT scan although an MRI, ultrasound, or other imaging tests may be used. The CT scan generally provides the doctor a detailed image of the pancreas and they should be able to determine whether there are one or more tumors present.
The final test that a doctor will use in diagnosing pancreatic cancer will be a biopsy. A biopsy consists of a small portion of tumor extracted to be observed under microscope by a doctor. The most common form of pancreatic cancer biopsy uses a thin needle stuck into the skin of the patient that does not require anesthesia.
Januvia, Janumet, Nesina, Byetta and Bydureon Linked to Increased Risk
Januvia, Byetta, Nesina and Byetta are prescription medications prescribed for the treatment of Type-II diabetes. Januvia treats patients by controlling their unstable blood sugar and insulin levels. Januvia is taken once a day, and is supposed to help those with type-2 diabetes along with a proper diet and exercise. Januvia is not meant for those with Type-I diabetes.
Currently, the information provided by Januvia’s manufacturers includes details about the risks of developing pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, this information was not always given to patients before taking Januvia. For that reason, individuals are filing a Diabetes Drug Cancer lawsuit against the manufacturers. A Diabetes Drug Cancer claims damages for those who have suffered pancreatic cancer as a result of taking these diabetes drugs without knowing those risks.