Posted On: March 1, 2012 by Anapol Schwartz

Why Bladder Cancer?

There’s nothing more life changing than a cancer diagnosis. Whether it’s you or a close family member, no one’s life is the same. One of the first thoughts is “why”. Why me?

Up until that moment, you probably thought that things like this didn’t happen to you. 15 years ago, cancer didn't seem as common. Today, I don’t know anyone whose life was not affected by cancer in anyway, be it through own diagnosis, or that of a family member or close friend.

Though there are plenty of theories, and new studies each day are suggesting that different foods and other ingestible products contain cancer causing agents, not many doctors will pin point the exact cause of a patient’s cancer. Looking back, we may think of things that we could have done, if anything at all, to prevent this disease.

What’s worse it to find out that your cancer could have been preventable, but was caused by no fault of your own. Adding salt to the wounds, it could have been caused by following your doctors orders and taking proper care of yourself.

On June 15, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert informing the public that using the diabetes medication Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. On August 4, the FDA informed the public and medical professionals that a label change, informing patients of the risk, had occurred.

The FDA recommends that Doctors not prescribe Actos for patients with active bladder cancer, and to be weary when prescribing it to patients with a prior history of bladder cancer.

Whether or not you have or had bladder cancer, taking Actos long term can still increase your risk of bladder cancer. Diabetes is not a short term condition. It’s something people are born with. They need to be treated for diabetes their whole life. A short term treatment of just one year is not going to be the best alternative. What’s the point of treating a long term condition, with a medication that may be more damaging to your health, the longer you stay on it.

The conclusion that Actos is not for a long term, came from an ongoing study performed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of Actos, by the FDA. Five years into the study, it was found that while there was no overall increase of bladder cancer from Actos, there was in fact an increased risk present in Actos users, and noted among the group who had the longest exposure to Actos with the highest doses. After adjustment for age and sex, the risk of bladder cancer was 30% higher among those whose duration of Actos therapy was 12–24 months and 50% higher among those with more than 24 months of exposure than that among never users of Actos.


While the FDA continues to investigate the results of this study and the viability of claims linking Actos to bladder cancer, the drug remains on the market but with a revised label.

If you are taking Actos and had no prior history of bladder cancer, you may want to watch out for the following warnings signs that could be early symptoms of bladder cancer:

Anemia
Urinary blockage
Urinary incontinence
Kidney damage
Darkened Urine
Blood Present in Urine


If any of the above occurs, talk to your doctor immediately about your risks for bladder cancer, and evaluate whether or not your Actos use should be discontinued.

If you were diagnosed with bladder cancer and took Actos, Visit us at: http://www.anapolschwartz.com/practices/actos/actos-and-bladder-cancer.aspfor a free legal consultation.