Regular Aspirin Use Doesn't Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

For postmenopausal women, aspirin, other NSAIDs, acetaminophen don't lower breast cancer risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Regular use of aspirin, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or acetaminophen does not appear to affect the risk of breast cancer overall or by specific subtypes in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To examine the association between breast cancer and the use of aspirin, other NSAIDs, or acetaminophen, Xuehong Zhang, M.D., Sc.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective observational study involving 84,602 postmenopausal women free of cancer in 1980 who were followed for 28 years.

The researchers identified 4,734 cases of invasive breast cancer. Regular aspirin use (two or more tablets/week) for more than 20 years was associated with a slightly, but not significantly, lower risk of breast cancer. The lack of significant association persisted regardless of past or current use, days per week of use, or dosage of use. No association was seen between other NSAIDs or acetaminophen and breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women. In addition, there were no significant associations seen for breast cancer molecular subtypes.

"In summary, our large prospective study did not support an important role of aspirin, non-aspirin NSAIDs, or acetaminophen use in breast cancer incidence among postmenopausal women," the authors write. "Additional large prospective studies of specific breast cancer subtypes and studies in premenopausal women and in breast cancer survivors would be informative."

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