Low-dose of 'baby' aspirin may reduce risk of breast cancer

Regular use of low-dose 'baby' aspirin may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 02, 2017, 18:57 PM IST
Low-dose of 'baby' aspirin may reduce risk of breast cancer
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New York: A new research has found that regular use of low-dose 'baby' aspirin can lower the risk of breast cancer in women.

In the findings, researchers analysed data from more than 57,000 women who were part of California's Teacher's Study.

The researchers saw an overall 16 per cent lower risk of breast cancer in women who reported using low-dose aspirin at least three times per week.

Lead author Christina Clarke from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California said, "The study found an interesting protective association between low-dose aspirin and breast cancer."

Clarke noted, "We did not by and large find associations with the other pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. We also did not find associations with regular aspirin since this type of medication is taken sporadically for headaches or other pain, and not daily for prevention of cardiovascular disease."

This study differed from other studies that have looked at aspirin and cancer risk because it focused on the dose levels of the aspirin women had taken and tracked the frequency of the use of low-dose aspirin as opposed to regular aspirin.

It was also able to look in detail at subtypes of breast cancer.

Leslie Bernstein of the Department of Population Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Monrovia, California said, "We already knew that aspirin is a weak aromatase inhibitor and we treat women with breast cancer with stronger aromatase inhibitors since they reduce the amount of estrogen postmenopausal women have circulating in their blood."

Bernstein said, "We thought that if aspirin can inhibit aromatase, it ought to reduce the likelihood that breast cancer would develop and it could also be an effective way to improve breast cancer patients' prognosis once they no longer take the more potent aromatase inhibitors".

Bernstein added, "Aspirin also reduces inflammation, which may be another mechanism by which aspirin taken regularly can lower risk of breast cancer developing or recurring."

The researchers said they chose to focus on low-dose aspirin, because not only is it inexpensive and readily available, but because there are already a lot of people taking it for prevention of other diseases such as heart disease and even colon cancer.

The study was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research.

(With IANS inputs)