While cancer epidemiology and prevention have traditionally focused on the identification and modification of lifestyle factors that may increase or decrease the risk of various cancers, much recent attention has been centered on chemoprevention, the use of chemical agents to prevent or inhibit the carcinogenic process, according to background information in the article. Use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been associated with a decrease in the risk of several cancers, including breast cancer. Given the importance of estrogen in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, the ability of aspirin and other NSAIDs to protect against breast cancer could vary according to hormone receptor status.
Mary Beth Terry, Ph.D., of Columbia University, New York, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the association between the frequency and duration of use of aspirin and other NSAIDs and breast cancer risk and whether any observed association is more pronounced for women with hormone receptorpositive breast cancers. The study, which included in-person interviews, was conducted during 1996-1997. There were 1,442 breast cancer cases and 1,420 controls.
The researchers found that ever use of aspirin or other NSAIDs at least once per week for 6 months or longer was reported in 301 cases (20.9 percent) and 345 controls (24.3 percent) with a 20 percent lower risk of breast cancer for ever use vs. nonusers. "The inverse association was most pronounced among frequent users [7 or more tablets per week, 28 percent lower risk]. The results for ibuprofen, which was used by fewer women on a regular basis, were generally weaker [22 percent lower risk for less than 3 times per week vs. 8 percent lower risk for 3 times or more per week]
Contact: Annie Bayne
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