Aspirin and Survival
I have written several times before about the possible importance of taking aspirin after breast cancer. Since I hope there are new readers of this blog who probably have not scrolled back to read all the old entries, I am going to talk about this issue again. For a long time, daily aspirin has been known to reduce the risk of colon cancer (seems to inhibit the development of polyps) and strokes, possibly also some other medical problems. Of course, there are people who should not take aspirin because of concurrent medical issues of their own. This absolutely is a "talk to your doctor" question. Please do not just start taking aspirin based on this report and my limited comments.
Here is an excerpt from an excellent summary and then a link to read the whole thing:
Aspirin Intake and Survival After Breast Cancer
Medical Writer: William Yarnall, RPh, CCP
Expert Faculty: Lisa A. Carey, MD, ScM
• Aspirin use post-breast cancer diagnosis may prolong life and reduce the risk of distant recurrence in some breast cancer patients
• Randomized, controlled trials are needed to confirm the beneficial effect of aspirin and NSAIDs in reducing morbidity and mortality in breast cancer patients
In vitro studies have shown that breast cancer cells produce more prostaglandins than normal cells, and animal studies have demonstrated increased cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity in metastatic breast cancer. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are prostaglandin and COX inhibitors and are also known to augment immune responsiveness and suppress cytokines that stimulate bony metastases. Therefore, it has been suggested that these drugs may increase survival among women with breast cancer by decreasing the growth and invasiveness of breast cancer cells. In order to investigate the possibility that aspirin use post-diagnosis might be associated with decreased risk of breast cancer death and distant recurrence, this was examined among Nurses' Health Study (NHS) subjects who developed stage I-III breast cancer.