But they stress that further research is needed to determine the best type, dose and duration and whether the benefits of regularly using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) outweigh the side effects, especially for high-risk groups.
“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” says Professor 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.”
Professor Fentiman and Mr Avi Agrawal reviewed 21 studies covering more than 37,000 women published between 1980 and 2007.
Their review included 11 studies of women with breast cancer and ten studies that compared women who did and did not have the disease.
“The purpose of a review like this is to look at a wide range of published studies and see if it is possible to pull together all the findings and come to any overarching conclusions” explains Professor Fentiman. “This includes looking at any conflicting results and exploring how the studies were carried out.
“For example some of the studies we looked at as part of this review found no links between NSAIDs and reduced levels of breast cancer, while others suggested that taking NSAIDs can reduce the breast cancer risk by about a fifth.
“Having weighed up the findings from over 20 studies, we have concluded that NSAIDs may well offer significant protection against developing breast cancer in the first place and may provide a useful addition to the treatment currently available to women who already have the disease.
“Recent studies of NSAIDs use have shown about a 20 per cent risk reduction in the incidence of breast cancer, but this benefit may be confined to aspirin use alone and not other NSAIDs.”
Previous studies have suggested that NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen, which have traditionally been used as mainstream non-prescription analgesics, may provide protection against coronary heart disease and some malignancies, such as colorectal cancer.
But Professor Fentiman is urging caution until further research fully weighs up the pros and cons of using NSAIDs to prevent and treat breast cancer.
“Our review did not look at the potential side effects of using NSAIDs on a regular basis” stresses Professor Fentiman “These can include gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation which can carry a significant risk of ill health and death.
“It would be essential to take these negative effects into account before we could justify routinely using NSAIDs like aspirin to prevent breast cancer.
“More research is clearly needed and we are not advocating that women take these non prescription drugs routinely until the benefits and risks are clearer.
“But our findings clearly indicate that these popular over-the-counter drugs could, if used correctly, play an important role in preventing and treating breast cancer.”
Annette Whibley | alfa
Neutrons produce first direct 3D maps of water during cell membrane fusion
21.09.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
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