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Aspirin May Help to Prevent Breast Cancer

October 31st, 2011 by Dr. Robert Wascher

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A large meta-analysis suggests that aspirin may lower a womans risk of developing breast cancer.


As I have discussed in my bestselling book,A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, aspirin may have an important potential role in the prevention of certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer. However, the available research data on aspirin as a breast cancer prevention medication has been rather mixed, to date.

A new meta-analysis study, which appears in the current issue of the journalBreast Cancer Research & Treatment, adds weight to previous studies suggesting a potential role for aspirin in the prevention of breast cancer. In this meta-analysis, the results of 33 different clinical research studies were analyzed. Altogether, nearlytwo million research volunteers participated in these 33 studies. When considering the results of these 33 different research studies, the authors of this meta-analysis determined that the regular use of aspirin was associated with an average14 percent reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer.

While this meta-analysis study showed an overall trend towards a decreased risk of developing breast cancer in women who regularly took aspirin, there is one very important caveat that I must emphasize. Only one of the 33 research studies that were analyzed in this meta-analysis was a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study (i.e., the type of clinical research study that provides the highest level of scientific and clinical findings), and it was this study, alone among the 33 different clinical studies, that didnot find any breast cancer prevention benefit associated with regular aspirin use.

While all but one of the 33 clinical research studies in this meta-analysis identified a significant reduction in breast cancer risk in women who regularly took aspirin, the failure of the lone prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research trial to confirm this finding means that additional prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled research studies will need to be performed before aspirin can be definitively recommended as a breast cancer prevention medication.

As I have stressed before, all medications, including aspirin, can be associated with potentially serious side effects. Therefore, if you are considering aspirin therapy, for the prevention of heart disease or cancer, then it is very important for you to check with your doctor before you begin taking aspirin.

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Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity

Dr.Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author

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Tags: Cancer, breast cancer prevention, Breast Cancer, breast cancer risk

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