Aspirin’s Potential in Preventing Breast Cancer
Over a half a million new cases of breast cancer prognostics are expected to be diagnosed in women this year. And men are not left out of the danger. Over a thousand of them will be at risk for this life-threatening disease too. Because of this, medical researchers have been working as fast as they can to try to find a way to help prevent more lives from being lost by it. And luckily, they have stumbled upon something that is readily available, inexpensive, and safe. It is also found in many people's bathroom medicine cabinets. Read on to find out more about baby aspirin's potential in preventing breast cancer.
How Was the Discovery Made?
The research used to determine aspirin's possible anti-cancer effects began after studies for colorectal cancer determined that the medication had potential in preventing the disease. It was found that when cancer patients took baby aspirin after receiving cancer treatments, they had a much better rate of survival than they did without it. The baby aspirin also reduced the rate of the return of the cancer. This lead to the discovery that it might be able to aid in preventing other types of cancers, such as breast cancer, too.
How Can Aspirin Help Prevent Cancer?
Aspirin is thought to be able to help prevent cancer by reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is one of the main contributors of cancer, since it causes the body to attack healthy tissue instead of viruses or bacteria. A small amount of inflammation occurs each time that someone is sick or injured. But then, it goes away once they get better. If there is a problem with their immune system, the inflammation doesn't stop though. So by reversing it, the risk for cancer is reduced.
How Long Does Aspirin Have to be Taken to Work?
For baby aspirin to be effective in preventing breast cancer, it has to be taken simultaneously with other types of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation. It might have to be stopped temporarily before and after any surgery is done to remove breast tissue because it thins the blood, which could lead to uncontrollable bleeding. Afterwards, it should be resumed for several years.
What Dose of Aspirin is Needed?
Since aspirin contains salicylic acid, too much of it can irritate the delicate lining of the stomach. So doctors recommend that cancer patients take it at the lowest dose possible. The best way to get low-dose aspirin is in an over-the-counter type of baby aspirin. Sometimes, bottles of this medication are labeled for use by heart patients, since they also benefit from its anti-inflammation and blood thinning properties.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Low-dose aspirin is very safe, so there are no major side effects that occur from taking it. However, people who have stomach ulcers or internal bleeding should avoid it because it could worsen their condition. This over-the-counter medication should also not be mixed with any other prescription medications that thin the blood because it could lead to uncontrollable bleeding.
In conclusion, baby aspirin has shown great promise in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. But more research is still needed before doctors are willing to recommend it on a regular basis to all of their cancer patients. Still, it is safe, inexpensive, and easy-to-use. It works by reducing the damaging effects that inflammation has on the body. So it could be helpful in preventing other types of diseases that are caused by inflammation too. Those who are interested in including baby aspirin in their cancer treatment plan should be sure to talk to their doctor about it first because it could cause uncontrollable bleeding if it is mixed with other blood thinners.