Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 613–620 | Cite as

NSAIDs and breast cancer recurrence in a prospective cohort study

  • Marilyn L. KwanEmail author
  • Laurel A. Habel
  • Martha L. Slattery
  • Bette Caan
Original Paper



We examined the association between NSAID use and breast cancer recurrence in a prospective cohort of 2,292 early-stage breast cancer survivors diagnosed from 1997 to 2000 participating in the Life After Cancer Epidemiology (LACE) Study.


From 2000 to 2002, mailed questionnaires were used to obtain information on aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAID use and subsequent breast cancer events. A total of 270 recurrences (local, regional, and distant disease and new primary breast cancers) were reported and verified by medical record review. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusting for age at diagnosis, race, cancer stage, tamoxifen treatment, chemotherapy use, body mass index, and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitor use.


Current, regular use (at least three days per week at time of questionnaire administration) of ibuprofen (RR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32–0.98), but not aspirin (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.74–1.61), was associated with a statistically significant decreased risk of breast cancer recurrence. The combination of ibuprofen and other non-aspirin NSAIDs such as naproxen and sulindac reflected a similar reduction in risk (RR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.33–0.95). No association was found for the non-NSAID analgesic acetaminophen.


Our findings provide support for an inverse association between current, regular ibuprofen use and breast cancer recurrence.


Anti-inflammatory agents Non-steroidal Breast neoplasms Recurrence Chemoprevention 



This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute (R01 CA80027) and by the Utah Cancer Registry (N01 PC67000), with additional support from the State of Utah Department of Health. We thank Charles Quesenberry, Ph.D. for his biostatistical support and Robert Reynolds, M.P.H. for his programming support. We thank all LACE Study staff and participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn L. Kwan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laurel A. Habel
    • 1
  • Martha L. Slattery
    • 2
  • Bette Caan
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of ResearchKaiser PermanenteOaklandUSA
  2. 2.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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