Aspirin May Slow Cancer Growth
While a daily dose of aspirin has long been associated with reducing heart disease risk, another study is suggesting that it also may have benefits in stopping the growth of cancer tumors.
The study, published in the journal Laboratory Investigation, found that taking daily aspirin blocked the growth of breast cancer tumors. Previous research has found that it had the same effect on gastrointestinal, colon and prostate tumors.
During chemotherapy, cancer cells typically shrink but still lay dormant in the body. This often causes problems five to 10 years later, when the disease can reoccur when body conditions stimulate reproduction of the cancer cells.
For the study, cell tests were conducted on both mouse cells and incubated human breast cancer cells. More than half of the breast cancer cells were treated with different amounts of aspirin and then were incubated. Those cells treated with aspirin were shown to increase the levels dead tumor cells or, if the cells did survive, it stopped them from growing. In a second test, 20 mice with aggressive tumors were given a low dose of aspirin (75 mg) a day for 15 days. At the end of the trial, the tumors were weighed. Tumors in mice that were treated with aspirin were 47 percent smaller on average.
The researchers believe these results suggest that aspirin could be used following successful chemotherapy to stop new cancer cells from growing, as well as possibly used as a preventative measure, However, the team says that although these were low doses of aspirin, there are always risks such as gastrointestinal bleeding, and people should consult their doctor before using aspirin regularly.