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Aspirin "cuts breast cancer risk"

Women who take drugs such as aspirin can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by about 20%, according to a new report.

Experts analysed 21 studies involving more than 37,000 women over a period of 27 years and found there was an overall decreased risk for those who took nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

They also discovered that NSAIDs can potentially play a role in treating women already diagnosed with breast cancer.

However, the researchers, whose findings are published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, warned that more studies need to be carried out before women are urged to take the drugs routinely.

They also warned that more research must be conducted on whether the benefits outweigh the side-effects in the long term.

They concluded: "NSAIDs may reduce breast cancer risk by 20% but the optimal type, dose and duration is still undetermined, together with the feasibility of such an intervention in an at-risk population."

Dr Alexis Willett, policy manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: "The potential of anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, to prevent and treat breast cancer is very interesting.

"However, as the researchers say, further investigation is needed. Until the long-term effects of taking these drugs for breast cancer treatment or prevention are known, we would urge women worried about these issues to talk to their GP."

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