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The Role of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in the Chemoprevention of Breast Cancer

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Author(s): Sarah L. Horn | Ian S. Fentiman

Journal: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN 1424-8247

Volume: 3;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 1550;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs | breast cancer | chemoprevention

ABSTRACT
Epidemiological evidence suggests that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which act as cyclooxygenase (COX-2) inhibitors may reduce breast cancer incidence by up to 20%. These agents are often taken for pain relief by older women with osteoarthritis. Age is the major risk factor for breast cancer in women with 50% cases being diagnosed in those aged >65 years. NSAIDs reduce serum estradiol by 17% in post-menopausal women and since most of these who develop breast cancers have estrogen receptor positive tumours; this suggests a possible preventative role. Careful use of these agents could provide a strategy for both relief of symptoms of osteoarthritis and also breast cancer prevention. Instead of conducting a randomised trial, proof of efficacy could be from an adequately powered cohort study within the breast screening programme.
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