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Breast Health & Disease Archive
If it’s not breast cancer, should you worry?
Reducing heart risks in the wake of breast cancer treatment
Breast centers out of step with federal mammography recommendations
Can taking aspirin regularly help prevent breast cancer?
Experts say there's little evidence that low-dose aspirin therapy brings benefits, and there are some risks.
In recent years, there's been a lot of talk about the potential benefits, and risks, of a regular regimen of low-dose aspirin. While much of the discussion has centered on whether taking low-dose aspirin can head off cardiovascular disease, some of the focus has also been on breast cancer. Can regular doses of this over-the-counter pain reliever reduce your risk of this common cancer?
For a while there were hints that the evidence was leaning that way. Back in 2017, this area of research, while still inconclusive, was somewhat promising. For example, a 2017 study published in Breast Cancer Research found that among some 57,000 women, those who reported taking low-dose aspirin (81 mg) at least three times a week had a 16% lower risk of breast cancer over all and a 20% lower risk of a specific type of hormonally driven breast cancer.
Don’t delay cancer treatment during the pandemic
The pandemic may have you feeling reluctant to seek medical treatment. But when it comes to cancer care, even a short delay in treatment may lead to deadly outcomes, according to a review of 34 studies published online Nov. 4, 2020, by BMJ. Researchers evaluated treatment delay and survival in more than a million people who had cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, rectum, lung, cervix, or head and neck. Each four-week delay in treatment — whether surgery, radiation therapy, or medication (such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy) — was associated with an increase of 6% to 8% in the likelihood of dying during the study period. Scientists say delays of up to eight weeks and 12 weeks further increased the risk of death. For example, in women who delayed breast cancer surgery by eight weeks, there was a 17% increased death risk; women who delayed surgery by 12 weeks had a 26% increase. Keep in mind, there are lots of unavoidable reasons why cancer treatment might be delayed, such as not being strong enough to undergo procedures or scheduling issues at a treatment center. But if there isn't a good reason to delay, it's best to get treatment as soon as possible.
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More intensive treatment of DCIS reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer
Women with DCIS at increased risk for breast cancer death
Research we're watching
Treatment for women with a type of early breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) might not be doing enough to prevent deaths from the disease, says a study published online Sept. 16, 2020, by JAMA Network Open. The study sought to determine whether women diagnosed with DCIS had a higher risk of dying from breast cancer than women who did not have the disease. They looked at 144,524 women who were diagnosed with DCIS from 1994 and 2014 and then treated for the condition. Researchers compared them against women without DCIS from the general population. They found that the women with DCIS had three times the risk of dying of breast cancer in the follow-up period, which ran until December 2016, than women without DCIS. Study authors suggest ways that might identify which women with DCIS need more aggressive therapy to prevent breast cancer death.
Image: © belchonock/Getty Images
Aspirin and breast cancer risk: How a wonder drug may become more wonderful
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