Low-dose Aspirin may lower breast cancer risk

Posted at 5:58 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 17:58:18-04

More than 57,000 women participating in the ongoing California Teachers Study reported their use of aspirin.

Researchers found those taking baby aspirin at least three times a week had a 20 percent risk reduction for a common subtype of breast cancer, known as hormone-receptor positive, HER2 negative. 

Overall, women taking low dose aspirin regularly were linked to a 16% lower risk of breast cancer.

Baby aspirin has anti-inflammatory effects and this could play a role in preventing breast cancer.  The study defined low-dose aspirin as 81 milligrams.  

Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and it doesn’t care what your race or ethnicity is.  Over 250,000 new cases are expected this year.

To lower your risk of breast cancer, here are my prescriptions:

  • Avoid or limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day. The more you drink, the greater your risk.
  • Watch your weight. Obesity and being overweight increase your risk, especially if your gain after menopause.
  • Avoid being exposed to radiation like X-rays, CT Scans and PET scans unless they’re medically needed. Studies suggest links between radiation exposure and breast cancer.
  • Always do self-breast exams and get regular mammogram. Women between 50 and 74 years of age should get mammograms every two years. Women between 40 and 49 should talk to their doctor about their risk, when to start and how often to get mammograms.

Researchers only found this link with low dose aspirin, not regular dose aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  But, more research is needed before doctors can recommend baby aspirin for breast-cancer risk reduction.