New Study Suggests Aspirin Lowers Risk for Breast Cancer

Published Online: Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Women who took aspirin ??7 times a week showed a 26% risk reduction for developing the type of breast tumor that is stimulated by the hormone estrogen, the most common form of breast cancer. In this study, researchers compared 1442 women with all forms of breast cancer with 1420 women without the disease and conducted interviews regarding their use of aspirin.

This study adds to the body of evidence showing an association between aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use and a reduced incidence of breast cancer. Researchers believe that the agents' chemopreventive effect may work via inhibition of estrogen biosynthesis.

Although the evidence is not yet sufficient to result in broad-based recommendations to use aspirin or another NSAID as protection against breast cancer, women who are at high risk for this type of breast cancer should speak with their physicians and weigh the potential benefits against the risks associated with long-term aspirin use, such as peptic ulcer and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Terry MB, Gammon MD, Zhang FF, et al. Association of frequency and duration of aspirin use and hormone receptor status with breast cancer risk. JAMA. 2004;291:2433-2440.

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