Navigation Links
Painkillers May Halve Risk of Breast Cancer Return in Obese Women: Study

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Obese women who have battled breast cancer might halve their chances of a recurrence if they take aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly, new research suggests.

The researchers followed 440 breast cancer survivors -- most of them past menopause and overweight or obese -- who were diagnosed between 1987 and 2011. The women had estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, which requires the hormone estrogen to grow.

Over the seven-year follow-up, taking the pain medications was linked to a difference in recurrence: "Twelve percent of those not taking NSAIDs had a recurrence, but 6 percent of those taking the drugs did," said study author Linda deGraffenried, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Texas in Austin.

Of the 440 women, 159 used painkillers and 281 did not. Most of those using painkillers took aspirin, deGraffenried said, while some took other types of NSAIDs, such as Motrin or Aleve.

The average body mass index (BMI) of the women was about 31. BMI is a measurement based on height and weight. A BMI of 30 and higher is termed obese; a BMI of 25 to 29.5 is considered overweight. At the time of diagnosis, the women were about age 55 to 60.

If the cancer did recur, it took longer in those who took painkillers: 6.5 years compared to about 4.2 years for the nonusers, the investigators found.

How could the painkillers, which the women took for arthritis and other problems, help? The key may be the anti-inflammatory properties of the medicines, deGraffenried said.

Researchers know that obese women who develop estrogen-positive cancers do worse when they are given hormone therapy known as aromatase inhibitors. "One of the key reasons that obese women do worse on hormone therapy is because of inflammation induced by obesity," deGraffenried said. Reducing the inflammation with aspirin and other NSAIDs, she explained, may improve how well the hormone therapies work.

However, deGraffenried noted, it's too soon to recommend taking NSAIDs for reducing either breast cancer recurrence or development. And while the researchers found an association between NSAID use and a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence, the study was not designed to prove cause and effect.

Also, painkillers have side effects, she added, such as a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

If future research bears out the latest findings, deGraffenried said, giving women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer a daily NSAID may reduce or delay the return of the breast cancer, and possibly spare them from needing additional treatments.

The concept makes sense, said Leslie Bernstein, director of the division of cancer etiology at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif. Bernstein is a longtime breast cancer researcher.

"We think of obesity as an inflammatory condition, and women who are obese have a higher risk of recurrence," she said. (In her own research, she has found that higher risk occurs in white, but not black, women.) It does make sense, she said, that aspirin would reduce inflammation and thus the risk of recurrence.

However, the study has some limitations, Bernstein noted. It relies on chart reviews, for instance, not direct interviews with the women. It would also have been valuable to look at aspirin alone, she added, rather than a variety of NSAIDs.

Bernstein agreed more work should be done, including clinical trials to focus on aspirin. If the research continues to bear out, she said, a recommendation to take a daily aspirin might help reduce recurrence of breast cancer.

This preventive measure might be adhered to better than other advice to minimize breast cancer risk, such as increasing physical activity, Bernstein added.

"You can't get all women to exercise," she said, "but you can get them to take an aspirin every day."

The study is published in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Breast Cancer Research Program of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.

More information

To learn more about cancer recurrence, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Linda deGraffenried, Ph.D., associate professor, nutritional sciences, University of Texas at Austin; Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., professor and director, division of cancer etiology, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif.; Aug. 15, 2014, Cancer Research

Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Abuse of Prescription Painkillers on the Rise Among High School Athletes: Survey
2. Consumer Reports Warns Against the Risks of Prescription and Over-The-Counter Painkillers
3. Promising medication counteracts constipation caused by opioid painkillers
4. Patient satisfaction scores in the ER are not affected by receipt of painkillers
5. Researchers find significant increase in painkillers prescribed to US adults in the ER
6. Mind over matter: Beating pain and painkillers
7. The FDA is Pushing For Greater Restrictions on Prescription Painkillers: Now what?
8. Avoiding Addiction When Powerful Opioid Painkillers Are Needed, From the November 2013 Harvard Health Letter
9. Long-term use of prescription-based painkillers increases the risk of depression, SLU researcher finds
10. ER study finds 1 in 10 older teens misuse Rx painkillers & sedatives
11. ER study finds 1 in 10 older teens misuse Rx painkillers & sedatives
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Painkillers May Halve Risk of Breast Cancer Return in Obese Women: Study
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an ... groups has filed a discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human ... Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia Farms , one ... its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s Global Packaging Design ... announced that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste Champion in the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... Growth in medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana slowed ... nonhospital care, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). ... medical payments per claim with more than seven days of lost time continued to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... CloudLIMS today announced ... Bridge Business Awards under the New Products and Services category for its innovative ... sample management software that helps labs organize data and track samples with ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Diabetic foot wounds ... Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of a health care ... to diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board of Multiple Specialties ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 --> ... report "Nucleic Acid Labeling Market by Product (Reagents & ... Primer, In Vitro Transcription, Reverse Transcription, End Labeling), by ... The global market is expected to reach USD 1,925.7 ... growing at a CAGR of 8.65%. Browse ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Russia has always been a country of choice for ... Europe in 2015 were tested in phase II-III ... has always been a country of choice for global multi-center phase ... in 2015 were tested in phase II-III clinical trials ... always been a country of choice for global multi-center phase III clinical ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015 Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), ... chronic pain, announced today that the company will present at ... December 1-3 at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in ... CEO of Relmada Therapeutics, will present on Thursday, December 3, ... . Please register at least 10 minutes prior ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: