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Aspirin May Cut Muscle Aches AND Breast Cancer

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, May 01, 2008 12:25 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Breast Cancer, Aspirin, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Drug Products, Colon Cancer

Women who took daily aspirin were found to have a 16 percent reduction in breast cancer risks than non aspirin users, a study finds.



IMAGE SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons/ aspirin/ author: Chaval Brasil 


It’s known to help with headaches and muscle aches and to reduce fever. It may even protect against colon cancer.

But a new study also says the common drug taken daily, may cut the risk of developing the most common form of breast cancer.

That work comes out of the National Cancer Institute where researchers found that an aspirin a day could cut breast cancer risk by 16 percent.

In order to come to these conclusions about 127,000 women ages 51 to 72 who were cancer-free and healthy in 1995 were surveyed. By 2003, 4,501 had developed breast cancer. The women who took aspirin were 16 percent less likely to develop estrogen-receptor (ER) positive breast cancer.    

“Even though it's a small reduction in relative risk, since ER-positive breast cancers are the more common types, if this result is confirmed to be true it could have potentially a big public health impact. Our results provide support for further evaluating relationships in prospective studies with well-defined measures of NSAID use by NSAID type... and by ER status," Gretchen Gierach of the National Cancer Institute, said to Reuters. 

These findings echo a 2004 study out of Columbia University that found aspirin-taking women had modestly lowered their risk for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer.

Last March, British researchers found that aspirin might cut breast cancer risk by up to 20 percent.

It's thought that aspirin may interfere with estrogen synthesis in the body.

About three-quarters of breast cancer cases are ER-positive. 

Aspirin side-effects include stomach bleeding and ulcers. Women are encouraged to talk to their doctors before beginning an aspirin regimen.  Other painkillers besides aspirin were not found to be effective. More studies will be done to factor in dosing and the age of participants.

The study is published in Breast Cancer Research. #

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