Aspirin Can Cure Breast Cancer: Study

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By Smitha Nambiar | July 25, 2014 10:25 AM EST

Salicylic acid, modified into acetylsalicylic acid, and used as Aspirin can cure breast cancer, reveals a study conducted by Dr. Michelle Holmes from Harvard University.

A particular chemical, found in willow tree has unknown cancer fighting properties and can double the survival rate among breast cancer patients, says Dr. Michelle Holmes, a researcher at the Harvard University. The chemical, commonly known as salicylic acid is modified into acetylsalicylic acid, and filled in Aspirin tablets, which has been used in plenty over the decades.

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Women toss their bras during the 5th Pink Bra Spring and Bra Toss and help Push Up the Fight Against Breast Cancer event at the Trocadero Square near the Eiffel Tower in Paris March 16, 2014. Pink Bra Bazaar is a charity dedicated to breast health education and supporting women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dr. Holmes studied the data collected from the long-running Nurses' Health Study and identified almost 4,000 women suffering from breast cancer, who had undergone regular treatment, and chemotherapy. She based her result on the amount of Aspirin the cancer patients had consumed for other reasons such as pain or prevention of heart ailments. Dr. Michelle found that women suffering from breast cancer, who took Aspirin was less likely to die in comparison to those who did not take Aspirin or its generic form, ASA.
Dr. Michelle Holmes's study has to be backed with clinical trials and only then can we know as to how many aspirins a day should be consumed to keep breast cancer away. The trial will cost the government at least $10 million and all the effort put by Dr. Holmes to convince the U.S. federal funding agencies has so far gone down waste. Dr. Holmes has already been turned down four times by the agencies.

Disappointed that her finding is not being given the kind of attention it requires, Dr. Michelle Holmes wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times, asking readers to understand how Aspirin can function as the best low-cost cancer drug that can save millions of women suffering from breast cancer in countries that cannot afford expensive therapies and treatment.

Dr. Pam Goodwin, who works at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital faced a similar problem while looking out for funds to support the trails of her study. Dr. Goodwin found that the drug, metformin, could lower insulin levels, and wanted to conduct trials to see if that could improve breast cancer outcomes. Though she initially struggled for fund, she was soon able to pull it through. "The funding for biologic questions has diminished greatly. It's a travesty", said Dr. Goodwin.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier / )
Women toss their bras during the 5th Pink Bra Spring and Bra Toss and help Push Up the Fight Against Breast Cancer event at the Trocadero Square near the Eiffel Tower in Paris March 16, 2014. Pink Bra Bazaar is a charity dedicated to breast health education and supporting women diagnosed with breast cancer.
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