Aspirin and breast cancer

There’s an interesting article in many of the newspapers today regarding a study that has found that aspirin may significantly increase long term survival in women with breast cancer. Here’s the link to the article in the Times:

timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7031649.ece

If anyone’s interested in reading the full published study let me know and I can email you a copy.

Caro xx

yes, I read this too, very interesting. Tempted to start today on the aspirin! What does anyone else think and will anyone discuss with their onc? I don’t see mine for ages yet.

To be honest, anything with that sort of success rate has got to be good, although I do appreciate it wasn’t done under a proper trial condition.

Helen.

I have been taking a low dose 75mg asprin every other day as recommended by my onc 18 months ago just after dx.

He said that it is an anti cancer drug and it would also hopefully prevent me from getting blood clots from the tamoxifen.

Helen, if you’re still undergoing active treatment for bc then I wouldn’t start taking Aspirin without talking to your onc first. I’m going to show my onc the published paper on Monday and discuss it with him.

I had my appointment with the oncologist today but I didn’t see the article until afterwards. Shame, as I would have asked her about it.I would be interested in reading the report, Caro. I’ll PM you with my e-mail address. Can you let us know what your oncologist thinks, please?

Ann x

Hi all

I thought you might be interested in Breast Cancer Care’s official response to this study:

“A number of studies have identified possible protective benefits of Aspirin in relation to breast cancer but further large scale trials are needed to determine the degree of risk reduction that this drug might be able to provide.

“We know that long-term use of Aspirin can cause other health issues such as gastrointestinal problems and this is important for any women to remember. Anyone considering long-term use of Aspirin should talk to their GP.”

Hope that’s helpful.

Leah

Thanks, Leah. I shall speak to my GP about it next time I see him.

Ann x

Not only should you take care with taking this for problems re long term use but also asprin can cause complications if you’re asthmatic! Like BCC say, check with your Doctor.

Katie

I found the report online if anyone is interested:-

jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/reprint/JCO.2009.22.7918v1

Ann x

How interesting! Thanks for posting the links.

Lolly

75mg aspirin, that is low. I just looked on my Disprin packet and that is equivalent to one quarter of a tablet. Do you buy them or are they prescribed? I really would like to pursue this, as the results seemed so encouraging. I may go and see my GP.

Ann x

Ann, I really wouldn’t just start taking aspirin without speaking to your GP first. I was a bit concerned about taking it whilst on Tamoxifen, because on the Tamoxifen leaflet it states that anti-coagulants may interfere with it! I gave my onc a copy of the paper today and after he’s read it he’ll discuss with me whether he thinks it’s a good idea or not.

Ann04

You can get asprin 75mg tablets prescribed or over the counter at any chemist. They are generally used for people that have had a heart attack or stroke, to thin the blood (think they have one a day, whereas I only have 3 or 4 a week).
However, asprin can be dangerous in some people, especially if you have stomach probs, so check with your oncologist first.

Thanks, Lolly. I am seeing my GP next week, so I shall discuss it with him. I think I shall send him a copy of the report, so that he will know what I am talking about.

Carol - It’s all such a minefield, isn’t it? It’s funny you say that about Tamoxifen, though. My Mum was put on Warfarin (to thin her blood) because she was on Tamoxifen! Lolly said that was why her oncologist gave her aspirin. Looking at the report, many of the ladies who took part in the survey were on hormone treatment and the overall results were that aspirin helped. I am on Letrozole.

Can you let us know what your oncologist thinks of the report, please?

Ann x

This is really interesting. I think you can get enteric coated aspirin which isn’t quite so harsh on the stomach. Best to have prescribed as then the GP knows what’s going on and it’s free.

I would say be careful though particularly if you’re on chemo or recently finished. I had to take ibuprofen for a back problem about 8 weeks after I finished chemo and ended up with a stomach ulcer after only 3 doses.

Also need to be aware that if you go for any operations aspirin would probably have to be stopped in advance because of the increased risk of bleeding.

elinda x

Hello I saw this article on the front of the Mail whilst waiting to go in and see my oncologist! I take daily Aspirin as I have an irregular heart beat and am at risk of stroke so Aspirin is prescribed to thin my blood, apparently I am too young to be on Warfarin yet. However, admid all the excitment about this I would point out that I was on it when I was found to have bc after a routine mammogram. So jury is out for me, but hopefully it might protect against against recurance of the disease. Interestingly those taking it four times a week receive more protection than those taking it every day like myself.

Chris

Hi Chris. How are you? Did you get my e-mail?

As you say, I think it was the recurrence that the aspirin seemed to reduce. What dose are you on?

Ann x

Hi All,

is there any more news regarding Oncologist opinion of taking aspirin. When I see mine next which isn’t for a few months yet I will certainly ask him about it. As the results do seem very encouraging and anything we can do to help ourselves would be appreciated. My mum takes 75mn of gasto-resistant aspirin tablets (due to being in her 80’s)so that would cover the worry about causing stomach problems. But these need to come from a prescrioption.

Bev

I discussed it with my GP last week and although he hadn’t heard about the report (even though I sent him a letter containing the link to it, so that he would know what I was talking about!), he was happy for me to give it a go. He said there was no evidence that coated aspirin helped prevent stomach problems, so he prescribed daily 75g tablets of dispersible aspirin. However, I am only going to take it every other day, as the report suggested that taking it every day had poorer results than 2 to 5 times a week.

I also asked whether he thought my oncologist would have a problem with it and he thought not. I think it was Lolly who said that her oncologist prescribed it for her, although I believe she is on Tamoxifen and I am on Letrozole.

I am now investigating Vitamin D3. I already get some with the ADcal-D3 but it seems that larger doses are recommended. My concern is that too much can cause excessive amounts of calcium in the blood and due to the risk of bone thinning on Letrozole, I need to be careful about that. I am not sure what the correct balance between Vitamins A and D and calcium and magnesium should be. It is such a minefield. If you take too much of one thing, it upsets others. Does anyone know?

Ann x

My onc read a copy of the paper I gave him and also spoke to a good friend of his who’s involved in this sort of research. The conclusion was that the evidence isn’t very solid at the moment, but because Aspirin isn’t too harmful he said I can take it every other day if I want to. However, after buying a bottle of 75mg Aspirin, I read on the leaflet that you shouldn’t drink alcohol whilst taking it!! Soo, I’ve deferred starting it until I talk to my gp about this little aside. Will keep you posted. xx