Aspirin may lower risk of breast cancer death and recurrence

August 1, 2010

Among women living at least 1 year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, aspirin use decreases the likelihood that those women will die from breast cancer or that their cancer will recur, according to a new study.

Among women living at least 1 year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, aspirin use (anywhere from 1 to 7 days per week) decreases the likelihood that those women will die from breast cancer or that their cancer will recur, according to the results of a prospective observational study.

The study reported responses from 4,164 female registered nurses participating in the Nurses' Health Study who were diagnosed with stage I, II, or III breast cancer between 1976 and 2002. The researchers observed the women until their death or until June 2006, whichever came first. Among other things, the nurses were asked whether they took aspirin 0, 1, 2 to 5, or 6 to 7 days per week.

In terms of breast cancer deaths, adjusted relative risks (RR) for 1, 2 to 5, and 6 to 7 days of aspirin use per week compared with no use were 1.07 (95% CI, 0.70-1.63), 0.29 (95% CI, 0.16-0.52), and 0.36 (95% CI, 0.24-0.54), respectively (test for linear trend, P<.001).

The associations did not differ appreciably by cancer stage, menopausal status, body mass index, or estrogen receptor status.

Holmes MD, Chen WY, Li L, Hertzmark E, Spiegelman D,Hankinson SE. Aspirin intake and survival after breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(9):1467-1472.