A daily dose of aspirin may lower a woman’s risk of developing a common type of breast cancer, claim US researchers.
Around three-quarters of breast cancers are oestrogen receptor-positive, and the researchers found that women who took a daily aspirin were 16% less likely to develop these types of breast cancers.
They studied the use of aspirin - and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – in over 126,000 women, aged between 51 and 72.
At the start of the study, none of the women had breast cancer. During follow-up, 4,501 of the women developed the disease.
The authors said that although breast cancer risk was not significantly associated with NSAID use, daily aspirin was associated with a modest reduction in oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancers.
But Liz Baker, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, warned: ‘It's important to remember that taking aspirin for a long time can have harmful side-effects, including heart problems and stomach ulcers.
‘Weighing up the risks and benefits, it’s too soon to recommend aspirin as a way of reducing the risk of cancer. Cancer ResearchUKwould urge people to speak to their doctor before taking aspirin regularly.’