A Drug used for treatment of breast cancer is being misused by some men to prevent the growth of breasts .
According to a BBC report , bodybuilders , who resort to excessive use of steroids in order to amass bodyweight, are abusing anti- cancer drugs like tamoxifen, to prevent breast growth , an unpleasant side-effect of the steroids. Although derived from testosterone, an increased level of steroids in the male system converts it into oestrogen, a female hormone ,and induces breasts growth in them.
A survey conducted by the University of Glamorgan on 200 gym users found, that 22 per cent misused ,tamoxifen , to reverse breast growth.I n a similar survey carried out six years ago, less than 2 per cent were found to take these drugs.
The survey also revealed that 11 per cent of male bodybuilders took another drug, Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG), to tackle shrunken testes, another unsavoury side-effect of steroid abuse.
The researchers coined a new word, "Bigorexic", to describe these men who abused steroids in their passionate search for the perfect physique. According to the researchers, the condition is the opposite of anorexia, an eating disorder.
Research leader Bruce Davies cautioned doctors to pay more attention to this growing problem adding that ,'An increasing number of non-athletes are resorting to a combination of drugs with the sole intention of improving their appearance.' Professor Davies said the problem was made worsened by the availability of counterfeit steriods, which instead of alcohol, contained aftershave ,as a 'sterilising' agent.