People have been taking low-dose aspirin for many years to prevent the onset of heart disease. A new study cited in the UK Daily Mail suggests that low-dose aspirin can also have an effect against breast cancer, the most common form of the disease that afflicts women.
Scientists have known for a while that aspirin helps to prevent the spread of colon, gastrointestinal and prostate cancer. Researchers at the Cancer Research Unit at Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center have found that low-dose aspirin can also prevent the reoccurrence of breast cancer five or ten years after the original disease has gone into remissions.
Breast cancer, especially if it is caught early, is very treatable. The problem arises down the road when residual cancer stem cells, left over from the original tumor, grow back into full-blown cancers. Because these cells have survived the initial chemotherapy, they tend to be very aggressive.
Using both laboratory and mouse studies, the Kansas City researchers found the aspirin tends to not only prevent the growth of cancers but also causes tumors already present to shrink. The mouse studies also found that aspirin can inhibit the growth of cancers in the first place. The drug seems to do this by changing the molecular makeup of cancer cells, preventing them from growing and reproducing.
Human trials have not occurred yet. However, since millions of people already take low dose aspirin for heart conditions, it might be a useful therapy for people who already have cancer, have their cancer in remission, or at risk of contracting the disease. However, patients are cautioned to consult their physicians first before going on an aspirin regime as part of a cancer treatment. Aspirin works against heart disease as a blood thinner and therefore has side effects that need to be taken into consideration.
For more information contact us.