US Pharm. 2008;33(4):9.

Researchers at London's Guy's Hospital said that aspirin and similar non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could reduce breast cancer by up to 20%. According to the investigators, NSAIDs may also play a role in the treatment of established breast cancer.

"Our review of research published over the last 27 years suggests that, in addition to possible prevention, there may also be a role for NSAIDs in the treatment of women with established breast cancer," said Prof. Ian Fentiman from the Hedley Atkins Breast Unit at the hospital, part of Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. "NSAID use could be combined with hormone therapy or used to relieve symptoms in the commonest cause of cancer-related deaths in women."

The researchers came to their conclusions by reviewing 21 studies covering more than 37,000 women published between 1980 and 2007. They said that further research is needed to weigh the pros and cons of using NSAIDs on a regular basis. One of their major concerns is the potential side effects of long-term use, such as gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation.

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