Aspirin May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence in Overweight Women
According to a study by London’s Queen Mary University, obese women who are breast cancer survivors may dramatically decrease their chances of recurrence by regularly taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
During the study, researchers followed 440 breast cancer survivors. The majority of them were overweight or obese, past menopause, and were diagnosed with the disease between 1987 and 2011.
A seven-year follow-up found that 12 percent of the women who were not taking aspirin or NSAIDs had a recurrence of breast cancer while only 6 percent of those who did take the drugs reported another case of breast cancer, HealthDay reported.
The women who took painkillers or aspirin and did experience a recurrence reported it within 6.5 years. Meanwhile, those who did not take the drugs had a recurrence within 4.2 years, according to HealthDay.
Women who are obese and develop estrogen-positive cancers are typically given hormone therapy to treat the disease, which they may not respond well to because of the inflammation that can be caused by being overweight. However, study author Linda DeGraffenried told HealthDay that aspirin and other NSAIDs work to reduce inflammation, thus increasing the effectiveness of hormone therapies.
Because it is often difficult for doctors to get people to partake in physical activity, encouraging them to take an aspirin may be an alternative for preventing breast cancer, HealthDay stated. However, combining this regimen with physical activity could be even more useful in avoiding inflammation-related complications in breast cancer treatment and prevention.