The risk of developing the most common kind of breast cancer could be reduced by taking an aspirin a day, according to research.
The drug, which can be taken to combat rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, strokes and some cancers, has now been shown to lower the risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer.
In 75% of breast cancers, tumours are fuelled by the female hormone oestrogen.
A large study involving 127,000 women found that aspirin was linked to a small reduction in the risk of having this form of the disease.
Aspirin belongs to a class of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Researchers from the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study found that NSAID use generally had no influence on overall susceptibility to breast cancer. But daily doses of aspirin resulted in a 16% reduction in risk for oestrogen-positive breast cancers.
Writing in the journal Breast Cancer Research, the authors led by Dr Gretchen Gierach, concluded: “Daily aspirin use … appeared to offer some protection for ER+ (oestrogen positive) breast cancer in this population..
“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.”
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