Daily Aspirin May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

May 8, 2008

An aspirin a day may reduce the risk of developing the most common type of breast cancer by 16 percent, according to the results of a large study reported on by HealthDay News.

The study by the U.S. National Cancer Institute appears in the April 30 online edition of the journal Breast Cancer Research.

Researchers found that aspirin (but not other painkillers) reduced the risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, which accounts for some 75 percent of all breast cancers.

Barbara Brenner, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, noted that the theory behind aspirin use has been around for many years (see, for instance, this BCA 2004 newsletter article).

“If this works, it is a very exciting development for a lot of people who are thinking about how we can control not only cancer, but the price of cancer drugs,” said Brenner.

She stressed that aspirin would not be “a cure-all, it’s only reducing the risk of estrogen positive-breast cancer.”

Other pluses include the fact that aspirin is inexpensive and relatively non-toxic for most people, though the American Cancer Society does not recommend using aspirin because of its link to gastrointestinal bleeding.

“There are risks with aspirin, and there are people for whom aspirin is not indicated,” Brenner said. “But they might want to talk to their doctors about this study and whether aspirin is appropriate for them.”

It’s important to remember, however, that aspirin is not a breast cancer preventative.

Plus: Also check out BCA’s policy on pills for prevention.

Comments are closed.