Study suggests aspirin may prevent the spreading of cancer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/16/10

Study suggests aspirin may prevent the spreading of cancer

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By Kristin Beerman | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Studies have touted the benefits of aspirin to prevent heart disease and cancer.  Now there's evidence that even if cancer is already in the body, aspirin may help it from spreading. A Harvard review of 4,000 breast cancer survivors finds taking aspirin can cut the chance of recurrence or death by 50%.   

"That would seem to imply that there really was some sort of anti-inflammatory effect going on to help these women to live longer," said Michael Holmes, with Harvard.

In fact, women who took two to five aspirins a week lowered their risk of the cancer spreading by 60% and death by 71%. "I absolutely would be interested in having my patients take aspirin if this, in truth, prevents them from dying from recurrence," said Dr. Wayne Frederick, with Howard University Hospital.

It sounds promising, but this was an observational study, which means scientists relied on patients to tell them how much aspirin they were taking.  Now, scientists will need to conduct a larger study to verify what amount of aspirin is the right amount to be safe and beneficial to cancer patients. 

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