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Aspirin after treatment could help thwart return of breast cancer

In addition to relieving aches and pains, reducing inflammation and fighting fever, the common over-the counter pain reliever aspirin may also help prevent the development of breast cancer, new research shows.

A study reported today in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that breast cancer survivors who regularly took aspirin after completing their treatment were half as likely to have their tumors reappear or spread as those who did not take the drug.

Michelle Holmes, the study's author and doctor Brigham and Women's Hospital, believes that aspirin may help control the spread of cancer fighting inflammation, which is more prevalent in breast cancer cells.

"If a woman who had breast cancer is already taking aspirin, she might take comfort in knowing that perhaps she is also helping to keep her breast cancer from coming back," Holmes told USA Today.

Despite the promising research, Holmes warns that further clinical studies must be conducted before a distinct link between breast cancer and the drug can be established. She also advises that no patient take aspirin in lieu of conventional cancer therapy.

According to the study, more than 2 million American breast cancer survivors are already taking aspirin each day to reduce the threat of other medical conditions such as heart attack.
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