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Study helps eliminate causes for joint pain linked to commonly used breast cancer drugs
Date:11/10/2011

were conducted and x-rays and ultrasounds of all participants' hands were performed. The rheumatologist and radiologist did not know which participants were taking AIs and which were not.

"We found that several patients in the control arm had a similar constellation of symptoms to those receiving AIs, but our team did not find any conclusive evidence that women taking AIs were more likely to have inflammatory arthritis or an autoimmune disease," Shanmugam says.

An autoimmune disease was discovered in four of the 48 women two in each group -- that had previously been undiagnosed. The cases were equally distributed among cases and controls.

"It would be prudent to refer those experiencing joint pain to a rheumatologist to rule out a previously undiagnosed autoimmune disease, and so that we can help address the symptoms," Shanmugam says.

"Although our study helps to rule out inflammatory arthritis or autoimmune disease as cause for joint pain associated with AIs, we still do not know why these women have musculoskeletal symptoms. Since the syndrome doesn't appear to be related to inflammatory arthritis or autoimmune disease, women should be encouraged to stay on their medication so they can gain the full benefit from it."
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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