The Potential of Daily Aspirin Intake to Improve Breast Cancer Outcomes

July 6, 2016


Take-Home Message:

Taking an aspirin a day may reduce breast cancer mortality.


Aspirin in the Treatment of Cancer: Reductions in Metastatic Spread and in Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses of Published Studies

Authors: Elwood PC, Morgan G, et. al.
Source: PLoS ONE 11(4): e0152402

Low-dose aspirin has been shown to reduce the incidence (i.e., prevent) of some cancers. Beginning with that observation, this research group sought to evaluate the use of aspirin on cancer treatment.

Five randomized trials and 42 observational studies were reviewed, all of which studied patients who took aspirin following a cancer diagnosis. Out of these 47 studies, 10 were dedicated to breast cancer patients.

Using the data provided and accounting for homogeneous study quality, the group observed that breast cancer patients who took daily low-dose aspirin had a lower risk of breast cancer related death compared to patients who did not take daily aspirin.

The investigators concluded that there is a large need for multiple randomized trials of aspirin treatment on cancer outcomes. They recommend that cancer patients be informed of this initial, promising data and balance the risks (such as gastrointestinal bleeding) and potential benefits of daily aspirin with their cancer care providers.