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Daily Aspirin May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Date:5/1/2008

ted with a 16 percent reduction in the risk for estrogen receptor-positive breast tumors.

There was no link between daily aspirin and the incidence of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, the researchers report.

The finding could have important implications for cancer prevention, Gierach says, but a lot more work is needed to see if the effect is real. Moreover, she believes that it is still too early to recommend that women start taking aspirin to prevent breast malignancy.

"This is an exciting implication, if it's true," Gierach said. "But we need further clarity from other studies."

One expert noted that chronic aspirin use can have serious consequences and should not be used for cancer prevention.

"The American Cancer Society does not recommend using aspirin for cancer prevention because aspirin can cause serious gastrointestinal bleeding," said Eric J. Jacobs, Strategic Director of Pharmacoepidemiology in the department of epidemiology and surveillance research at the American Cancer Society.

Whether or not you should use aspirin for disease prevention is a question that should be discussed with your doctor, who can take your medical history into account, Jacobs said. "This decision should be based on balancing the proven benefits of aspirin in preventing heart disease against the proven risks of serious gastrointestinal bleeding," he said.

Another expert was intrigued by the findings.

"This theory has been around for many years," said Barbara Brenner, executive director of Breast Cancer Action. "If this works, it is a very exciting development for a lot of people who are thinking about how we can control not only cancer, but the price of cancer drugs."

The finding is confirming what many people have thought for a long time, Brenner added. But she stressed that aspirin would not be "a cure-all, it's only reducing the risk of estrogen positive-breast cancer."

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