Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Think I Feel A Daily Headache Coming On ...

Aspirin Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Survivial
Article Date: 17 and 18 Feb, 2010 (Link to news article and here.)
A new US study suggests that regular taking of aspirin is linked to increased survival after a breast cancer diagnosis and also to a lower risk of the disease recurring. However, as this was an observational study that suggests a possible link and not a clinical trial, the researchers recommended women do not use these findings as a reason to start taking aspirin as a way to increase survival from, and prevent recurrence of, breast cancer.
Still, taking an aspirin every day is recommended for other reasons, isn't it? Can't hurt?
"This is the first study to find that aspirin can significantly reduce the risk of cancer spread and death for women who have been treated for early stage breast cancer."

Previous studies in animals and lab cultures have suggested that aspirin may reduce the risk of breast cancer spread.

When asked about the possible reasons for aspirin potentially reducing the risk of dying of breast cancer and making recurrence less likely, Holmes said that the "new thinking" was to view cancer as an inflammatory disease, and aspirin reduces inflammation.

Anyone considering taking aspirin on a regular basis is advised to consult their doctor first, because of the risk of stomach bleeding.

According to the study, participants who took aspirin two to five days per week were 60% less likely to have a recurrence and 71% less likely to die from breast cancer. Women who took aspirin more frequently had a 43% lower risk of recurrence and a 64% lower risk of death. Taking aspirin once per week or taking acetaminophen did not produce a benefit, the study found.

"If these findings are confirmed in other clinical trials, taking aspirin may become another simple, low-cost and relatively safe tool to help women with breast cancer live longer, healthier lives".

"If true, it would certainly be a relatively easy, inexpensive, potentially safe intervention for women who have had breast cancer." However, he added that researchers "have been tricked by things like this before, especially in cancer epidemiology".
There seems to be a lot of cautionary talk as in, "Don't get too excited". Still, discoveries and potential discoveries ARE exciting!

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