Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Be Well

Aspirin may cut risk of breast cancer recurrence

Aspirin may cut risk
of breast cancer recurrence

Regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen may lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence in some overweight women, a new study found.

Researchers at the University of Texas took blood from 440 women who were diagnosed with invasive, estrogen receptor alpha-positive breast cancer. Nearly 26 percent of the women were overweight and 58 percent were obese. They re-created cancer cells, fat cells, and immune cells in the lab and injected the blood into these cells. Blood samples that were taken from overweight or obese women caused the cancer cells to grow faster than blood taken from women who were not overweight. Blood from the obese patients contained more fatty acids, which caused inflammation and promoted tumor growth, the study found.

Continue reading below

The researchers then looked at the patients’ medical records and divided them between those who regularly took anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen — known as NSAIDs — and those who did not. Women with a body mass index greater than 30 who took NSAIDs reduced their rate of recurrence by 50 percent and were disease-free for more than two years longer than women who didn’t take the pills.

The findings suggest that taking NSAIDs could help reduce inflammation in tumor cells, especially among overweight or obese breast patients, the researchers wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: Regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs may lower the risk for breast cancer recurrence among some women.

CAUTIONS: The study cannot determine which overweight women will benefit from taking NSAIDs.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Cancer Research, Aug. 14

Infants who don’t get vitamin K shots less likely to get vaccines

Parents who refuse routine vitamin K shots for their newborns at birth may be more likely to refuse subsequent vaccines for their child, a new study by Canadian researchers found.

Researchers looked at data of nearly 300,000 infants born in Alberta between 2006 and 2012. Only .3 percent of infants did not get a vitamin K shot, which prevents a potentially fatal bleeding disorder. Children who did not receive the vitamin K shot were nearly 15 times more likely not to have any other recommended vaccines by age 15 months compared to children who received the vitamin K shot.

Parents who refused vitamin K for their children were more likely to have a delivery attended by a midwife than a physician. They were also more likely to deliver at home or at a birth center compared to a hospital.

The findings suggest that parents’ choice of a health care provider and place of birth may reflect their ideas of medical interventions for their children, including vaccines, the researchers wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: Parents who refuse to have their newborn receive a routine vitamin K shot may be more likely to subsequently refuse other vaccines for their child.

CAUTIONS: The study did not look into the reasons why parents refused the vitamin K shots.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Pediatrics,
Aug. 18

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week