NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
May 25, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 21 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Lower Breast Cancer Risk With Aspirin Linked to
Hormone-Receptor Status

A study released this week lends further support to previous findings of an association between regular aspirin use and reduced risk of breast cancer. The findings, however, come with a few new twists: Aspirin's effect seems to be significantly affected by hormone-receptor status and frequency of use, with the most benefit seen in women with either estrogen- or progesterone-positive tumors and who took aspirin at least seven times a week for at least 6 months.

In the case-controlled study, published in the May 25 Journal of the American Medical Association, the research team, led by Dr. Mary Beth Terry, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, analyzed data from women participating in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. They collected data on 1,442 women diagnosed with in situ or invasive breast cancer between August 1, 1996 and July 31, 1997, and compared them with 1,420 controls. Overall, 301 case patients and 345 controls reported regular use of aspirin for at least 6 months.

Regular aspirin use was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk compared with nonuse. An even greater risk reduction (28 percent) was seen among women who took at least seven aspirin per week. When results were separated out by hormone-receptor status, only estrogen-receptor negative/progesterone-receptor negative status failed to show a benefit. Aspirin showed the strongest effect, while ibuprofen use had a weaker preventive impact. Acetaminophen showed no protective effects.  Read more  

Director's Update

Oncology Nurses: Something Special

Those of us in the cancer community consistently hear a special story from patients and their families. It is about that "one terrific nurse" and how he or she helped the patient and family get over the shock of diagnosis, learn about what would come next, handle the rough patches of treatment a little better than they otherwise might have - and all with a delicate human touch.

We see headlines in the news every day about advances in diagnosis or treatment and we learn about the finer details of the investigations. But there's usually a back story we don't hear, the one about the nurses who helped make that finding possible, ensured that patients understood their treatment regimens, educated staff about the experimental protocol, and aided patients with such issues as depression, questions about fertility, and what to do once they returned home.  Read more  


This NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads a national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic and clinical biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

For more information on cancer, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit http://cancer.gov.

NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached at ncicancerbulletin@mail.nih.gov.