Aspirin May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence in Overweight Women

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Some women may be able to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer by taking aspirin and NSAIDs.

According to a new 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 followup 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 don't respond well to because of the inflammation 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 to get people to partake in physical activity, encouraging them to take an aspirin may be an alternative for preventing breast cancer, HealthDay stated.

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