PINK UP: Could low-dose aspirin lower your breast cancer risk?

PINK UP: Could low-dose aspirin lower your breast cancer risk?
Published: May. 12, 2017 at 7:00 AM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2017 at 12:18 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Score yet again for low-dose aspirin.

New research shows women who regularly took "baby" aspirin can lower their risk of getting breast cancer.

Specifically, the study showed taking low-dose aspirin at least three times a week was linked to a 20 percent risk reduction for cancers that are known as hormone-receptor positive, HER2 negative. Those are some of the most common forms of the disease.

Researchers used data from more than 57,000 women who were part of the California Teachers Study. From there, they took a closer look at the 23 percent of women who reported using low-dose aspirin regularly.

They compared those women to others who had no regular low-dose aspirin use.

But doctors at Saint Francis Medical Center say not so quick: don't go adding this to your morning routine just yet.

"Low dose aspirin is a wonderful drug and can actually lower myocardial damage, heart attacks, maybe colon cancer but at the same time it can put someone at risk of gastric bleeding or other unnecessary kinds of bleeding," Dr. Carlos Robles said, an oncologist.

He doesn't encourage women to make this a regimen until these results are proven on a larger scale, or until more research shows a link to why aspirin lowered the breast cancer risk.

But the good news, Dr. Robles said, is that this study is a sign that research for a cure has taken leaps and bounds in the last decade.

"I think breast cancer has changed dramatically from being a disease that had little hope to one that we're now curing over 88 percent of the time in all comers," Robles said. "But the quality of life of the patients that go through these treatments is so much better now that we are targeting the treatments down to the molecular level of the cancer."

As for proven ways to lower your chance of getting breast cancer, doctors have found some.

Unfortunately, you can't change your genetics, but you can change your daily routine.

Doctors agree the big three include:

  • Exercise: women who are physically active at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk.
  • Control your weight: being overweight can increase the risk of many cancers
  • Don't smoke: it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and at least 15 cancers including breast cancer.

If you're still curious about regularly taking low dose aspirin, Dr. Robles said you should speak with your primary care doctor.

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