Researchers say , that the drug aspirin ,best known for its painkilling effects, if used regularly might offer protection against breast cancer. Cancer prevention has all along focused on modification of lifestyle factors, but recent research has been centered on chemoprevention, or the use of chemical agents to prevent or inhibit the carcinogenic process of cancer development.
The study, which included in-person interviews, included 1,442 breast cancer cases and 1,420 controls.Results show that use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at least once per week for six months produced a 20-percent lower risk of breast cancer as compared to nonusers. Even more pronounced was a 28-percent lower risk among frequent aspirin users (seven or more tablets a week). However, the reduction in risk was only seen among women with hormone receptor-positive tumors and not for women with hormone receptor-negative tumors.The risk-reduction results for ibuprofen were generally weaker, and use of acetaminophen, like Tylenol, was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of breast cancer.
However researchers say an optimal aspirin dose or regimen required to achieve a maximum reduction in cancer risk remains unknown . Researchers also say that the potential benefits need to be balanced against potential harmful effects of long term aspirin use, such as peptic ulcer disease and gastrointestinal bleeding.