Doctors are beginning to learn that body weight could have a role in determining a woman’s risk for breast cancer as well as her ability to survive it—and according to new research, a surprisingly simple over-the-counter drug could help with prevention.
“Obesity by itself is the worst prognostic factor,” says Linda deGraffenried, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at University of Texas at Austin. “Obese women do worse on hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We used to think that the mechanism involved the fact that they had [other] conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, but now we are starting to appreciate that the obese patient has a different biological disease.”
And that understanding led deGraffenried and her colleagues to the surprising finding that among women with a higher body mass index (BMI), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin can actually lower their risk of breast cancer.
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