Women who regularly take aspirin seem to be at lower risk of the most common type of breast cancer

Women who regularly take aspirin seem to be at lower risk of the most common type of breast cancer than those who do not take aspirin, report researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians & Surgeons, Weill Cornell Medical College, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. The study, conducted with nearly 3,000 women from the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project, will be published May 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Mary Beth Terry, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Mailman and the study’s lead author, and colleagues analyzed data collected in 1996 and 1997 from 1,442 breast cancer patients and 1,420 healthy women. When the researchers compared women with breast cancer to women who were cancer-free, they found that those who took aspirin regularly had a 26 percent lower risk of hormone receptor positive breast cancer—a type of cancer making up about 60 percent to 70 percent of all breast cancer cases—compared with women who did not take aspirin. The association was strongest in women who took seven or more aspirin tablets per week and was greater in menopausal women than in their premenopausal counterparts.

“The study suggests that the use of aspirin on a regular basis can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer,”said Dr. Alfred I. Neugut, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University and co-director of the Cancer Prevention Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “What’s more, it’s the first to suggest that aspirin may be more effective at preventing certain types of breast cancer than others.” http://www.cumc.columbia.edu

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