A daily dose of aspirin has been proved to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in some people. And, as it turns out, low-dose aspirin may also prevent cancer.
A new study found women who take low-dose, or baby, aspirin at least three times a week have a 20 percent lower risk of developing HR-positive/HER2-negative breast cancers, among the most common breast cancer subtypes.
The study, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, looked at data from more than 57,000 women who were part of the California Teachers Study and is the first to suggest the reduction in risk associated with low-dose aspirin.
One reason for the research finding may be that aspirin can lower inflammation, Leslie Bernstein, professor and director of the Division of Biomarkers of Early Detection and Prevention at City of Hope in Duarte, California, said in an interview with CNN.
“Simple things like obesity or inflammatory conditions are a risk factor for breast cancer,” she said, “so this may be one reason it could help.”
Previous studies have focused on aspirin and cancer risk, but this study differed in that it looked at dose levels and frequency. Bernstein’s team also analyzed subtypes of breast cancer in detail.
“The study found an interesting protective association between low-dose aspirin and breast cancer,” said lead author Christina A. Clarke, from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. “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.”
With this study completed, researchers can now do more detailed analysis to understand the full value of low-dose aspirin for breast cancer prevention, Clarke said.