Cancer Drugs are Being Abused by Bodybuilders

Kin Coulee Park, Medicine Hat: A beautiful mild evening look in January. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)
Kin Coulee Park, Medicine Hat: A beautiful mild evening look in January. (Dr. Noorali Bharwani)

I was surprised when my attention was drawn to an article in MedPage Today titled “Bodybuilders Bulk Up Using… Cancer Drugs.” Should I be surprised?

“The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us,” said Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680). He was a noted French author with a clear-eyed, worldly view of human conduct that indulges in neither condemnation nor sentimentality.

Abusing cancer drugs to muscle up your body does call for condemnation. As we know, performance-enhancing drugs are substances used by athletes to improve their performances.

The phrase has been used to refer to several distinct classes of drugs: steroids, human growth hormone, stimulants (caffeine, amphetamine, methamphetamine), painkillers (simple analgesics to narcotics), sedatives, diuretics, blood boosters and others.

What about abuse of cancer drugs?

“Arimidex, also known by its chemical name anastrozole, is an aromatase inhibitor – a breast cancer drug. While steroids and growth hormone make headlines when athletes abuse them, breast cancer drugs are a lesser-known staple of doping regimens, for athletes and ‘weekend warriors’ alike,” says the article. Even common anti-estrogen breast cancer drugs like tamoxifen and exemestane are abused.

The article says these breast cancer drugs are on the prohibited performance-enhancing drugs lists from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency. But somehow some athletes manage to find them. How can this be stopped? A difficult question to answer.

Those athletes who abuse performance-enhancing drugs do eventually suffer from side effects. Hopefully, they will learn early in their lives that the best way to improve your health is by exercising regularly, eating healthy and not abusing performance-enhancing drugs. I hope somebody is listening.

Talk to you again soon. Keep smiling.

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