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Aspirin May not Improve Outcomes

Posted 12/17/2015

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  To some extent, this is a wait a while and the information may change post. I have written several times before about studies that suggest that a daily aspirin may reduce the risk of getting breast cancer in the first place and/or may reduce the risk of recurrence. In each of those posts, I suggested speaking with your doctor about this information in order to make an informed, careful decision about your own aspirin use.

  Now, from UPenn, as presented at the recent San Antonio meetings, comes another study that suggests that daily aspirin does not lower risk or risk of recurrence, but that it may breast density which is sometimes associated with risk. I have thought about this and decided, at least for me, it is surely worth knowing and trying to keep up with the newest information, but that this information may also change in the future. So, my non-doctor advice remains the same: talk to your doctor about your own risk and aspirin choices.

  Note that this same information may or may not be relevant for other kinds of cancer. Cancer is related to inflammation, and aspirin reduces inflammation so.....?????

Aspirin use does not improve outcomes for cancer patients, but may lower breast density
Authors of both studies call for clinical trials examining the ability of aspirin to improve care for
at-risk patients
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - Whether aspirin may help prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer remains a hotly
debated research question. While past studies have indicated a potential benefit, most recently in hormone
receptor-positive breast cancers, one new study from Penn Medicine suggests otherwise. Aspirin does not
appear to be protective or associated with improved clinical outcomes or survival among breast cancer
patients with aggressive disease, the researchers of one study report. However, another study suggests
aspirin may in fact help reduce breast tissue density, which could lead to earlier detection of some breast
cancers. Results of both studies will be presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
(Abstracts PD1-04 and PD1-05, respectively) on Wednesday, December 9.
In the first study to report on the association of aspirin use with breast cancer outcomes in a large patient
population, researchers examined the pattern of aspirin use, cancer pathology and overall survival in 1,000
patients treated at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and diagnosed with breast
cancers, including receptor positive, HER2- positive and triple negative cancers. A history of aspirin use for at
least 30 days prior to diagnosis was reported in 14 percent of the participants.


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