Aspirin may cut breast cancer risk
May 26 2004 11:00 PM ET
Aspirin, the wonder drug that can help prevent heart attacks and strokes, appears to reduce women's chances of developing the most common type of breast cancer, a study found. The authors of the study said that the findings are tantalizing but that more research is needed before doctors can recommend that women take aspirin to ward off breast cancer. The study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association and was led by researchers Mary Beth Terry and Alfred Neugut of Columbia University.
Previous studies reached conflicting conclusions as to whether there is a link between aspirin and breast cancer. This is the first study to examine whether aspirin might influence the growth of specific types of tumors, said Raymond DuBois, director of cancer prevention at Vanderbilt University's Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The reduced risk was found for tumors whose growth is fueled by the sex hormones estrogen or progesterone. About 70% of breast cancer cases are of this type, called hormone receptor-positive.
Women in the study who used aspirin at least four times a week for at least three months were almost 30% less likely to develop hormone-fueled breast cancer than women who used no aspirin. The link with aspirin was strongest in women who took seven or more tablets a week and was greater in postmenopausal women than in younger women--which the researchers said makes sense given that hormone-fueled tumors are more common in older women. Aspirin had no effect on the risk of developing the other type of tumor, hormone receptor-negative. Researchers suspect that aspirin works by interfering with the body's production of estrogen.
Similar studies have suggested that aspirin might reduce the risks of developing other kinds of cancer, including pancreatic and ovarian cancer and Hodgkin's disease. But these studies could not say definitively whether other factors might explain the results. And like the breast cancer research reported in JAMA Wednesday, many of these studies relied on subjects' recollections of how often they took aspirin. (AP)
- Op-ed: Two and a Half Men Introduces Trans Character, Manages to Stay Respectful
- WATCH: The Best of LGBT Chorus Holiday Music
- Salvation Army 'Does Not Consider Homosexual Orientation a Sin'
- WATCH: The 12 Gayest Holiday Spectaculars Ever!
- WATCH: Obama Invokes LGBT Rights in Mandela Eulogy
- Just Another Day at Work in LGBT America
- Women Emily Rios' Lesbian Character on The Bridge Upped to Series Regular 1 hour 25 min ago
- Media Russia Expert to Offer Political Commentary During Olympics 2 hours 16 min ago
- Travel In-Flight Cellphone Conversations: Dream or Nightmare? 2 hours 24 min ago
- Politics New Gay U.S. Ambassador Meets With Dominican President 7:08 PM
- Latest News NBC To Spotlight Russia’s Human Rights Abuses During Olympics 6:11 PM
- Couples/Personal Finances The Financial Effects of DOMA: Filing Taxes 5:56 PM
- Couples/Personal Finances Examining Employee Benefits in the Wake of DOMA’s Overturn 5:38 PM