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Jun 2, 2005 | A study published in the released on May 31, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that long-term use of ibuprofen or aspirin may raise the risk of breast cancer in women.

This surprising finding has no biological explanation and actually runs contrary to numerous prior studies which linked pan relievers with a lower risk of colon cancer. The researchers themselves had expected to find that the two painkillers lowered the risk of breast cancer.

The study analyzed information relating to 114,460 California teachers between the ages of 22 and 85 who were free of breast cancer when they enrolled in the ongoing California Teachers Study a decade ago. Between 1995 and 2001, 2,391 of these women were diagnosed with breast cancer. When all users of the two painkillers were considered together, no link was suggested. However, those who used ibuprofen daily for at least 5 years were 50% more likely to develop breast cancer. The figure jumped to 80% in the case of daily aspirin users.

While the researchers did not advise anyone to stop taking aspirin or ibuprofen as a result of the study, they are convinced that the two painkillers are not reducing breast cancer.

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