Actos – Bladder Cancer Connection
What is bladder cancer and how is Actos related to it?
Bladder cancer usually begins when cells that line the bladder develop tumors. Although there is little awareness of bladder cancer, it is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer, with close to 70,000 diagnoses and 15,000 deaths expected from it this year alone.
Once the cancerous cells begin to grow, they expand rapidly and at much greater rate than normal cells. The abnormal cells overtake healthy cells, blocking and inhibiting their ability to receive the nutrients and material they need.
Cancer cells in the bladder often transfer to the lymph nodes and kidneys before spreading to the blood stream and affecting other vital organs, such as the heart and lungs.
Actos targets the three main PPAR receptors: Alpha, Gamma, and Delta. This helps patients better utilize their own insulin. Because of how the medicine interacts with the receptors, it can cause cells to mutate, especially along the urinary tract as it’s passed out of the body. When these mutated cells replicate, they cause cancerous tumors in the bladder. In this case the foreign agent is Actos. It may mutate cells in the body and these mutated cells may form into a cancerous tumor. Hence, the foreign agent can increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Actos® (pioglitazone HCI) is a prescription medication used with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar (glucose) control in adults with type 2 diabetes.
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a safety announcement after analyzing preliminary results from Takeda Pharmaceutical’s 10-year epidemiological study of Actos® side effects. The FDA warned that there is as much as a 40 percent increase in the risk of bladder cancer in patients who have taken Actos® longer than one year.
- Stage 0 (pre-stage) is when the cancer is in the center of the bladder, but has not yet spread to the connective tissue or the muscle wall.
- Stage 1 indicates that the cancer has reached the connective tissue, but has not penetrated the muscle of the bladder wall.
- Stage 2 – the cancer has grown into the muscle layer of the bladder wall and the fatty tissue around the bladder.
- Stage 3 – is characterized by abnormal cells that have completely penetrated the fatty tissue of the bladder and possibly the surrounding organs, but has not yet made contact with the lymph nodes or areas that are farther away.
- Stage 4 – the cancer has either gone through the pelvic or abdominal wall, spread to the lymph nodes or reached a distant site such as the bones, liver or lungs.
Treatment Options for Bladder Cancer
Treatment methods vary by the stage of bladder cancer.
- Surgery may be used to remove the cancer or tumor, which sometimes involves removing the cancer or removing the entire or part of the bladder and any affected lymph nodes and organs.
- Radiation is another common treatment method that involves using high energy x-rays to kill or contain the cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to combat cancer, sometimes given throughout the body or directly applied to the bladder
- Other approaches include strengthening the body’s natural immune system to help it fight the cancer off itself. A number of clinical trials are also being conducted to develop new methods to combat this vicious disease.
Bladder Cancer Risk Factors
There is no one complete determination of what causes bladder cancer or what increases one’s risk factors. However, factors known to place individuals at higher risk include the following:
- Cigarette smoking.
- Workplace exposure to dangerous chemicals.
- Ethnicity. Studies show Native Americans are more pre-disposed to developing bladder cancer than other races.
- Age, with 90% of bladder cancer affects over the age of 55.
- Sex. Men are at a much higher risk for bladder cancer than women are.
- Type 2 diabetes medication, Actos®. Studies indicate that Actos® may also increase the chances of developing bladder cancer, with some data showing as much as a 40% increase in patients with prolonged use.
If your doctor has prescribed Actos®, it is important discuss proper dosage, common side effects and the potential dangers.
Contact an Experienced Product Liability Attorney to Protect Your Legal Rights
The law firm of Rudolph F.X. Migliore, P.C. has begun investigations into potential Actos® cases. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm, if you or a loved one has taken Actos® and has developed bladder cancer. You may be entitled to compensation for the harm you suffered.
More than three decades of fighting for our clients’ legal rights gives us the legal experience to help clients harmed by Actos®. Our law firm works with nationally recognized co-counsel to reach major verdicts on many prescription drugs, defective medical devices and a wide range of other product liability cases.
To arrange a no cost no obligation case evaluation, call our law firm at (631) 543-3663. Your consultation is strictly confidential. If your case is accepted, we do not charge a fee unless we recover damages for you.