Does Aspirin Halve the Risk of Death By Breast Cancer?

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Breast cancer is one of the most fatal cancers for women. According to BreastCancer.org, breast cancer has one of the highest cancer death rates for women in the United States; 30 percent of cancers in women are breast cancers. And if that was not troubling enough, an estimated one in eight U.S. women — a little over 12 percent — are expected to develop invasive breast cancer during the course of their lifetime. And it is not just women: the lifetime risk of a man getting breast cancer is one in 1,000.

Taking these statistics into consideration, it is not surprising that scientists are actively looking for ways to treat and prevent breast cancer. A new Glasgow University study has found that one treatment for reducing the risk of breast cancer could already be in your medicine cabinet for preventing heart attacks and strokes: aspirin. Specifically, researchers found that aspirin could slash the risk of death by cancer by 58 percent in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Published in the British Journal of Cancer, the 10-year study titled “Aspirin use and survival after the diagnosis of breast cancer: a population-based cohort study” looked at more than 4,000 female patients diagnosed with breast cancer from 1998 to 2008. According to researcher Colin McCowan, a possible explanation as to why aspirin has these benefits is because the painkiller might play a role in blocking inflammatory chemicals that help the disease grow.