Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) prevent the growth of mammary tumours in animal models. Two population-based case-control studies suggest a reduced risk of breast cancer associated with selective cyclooxygenase-2 (sCox-2) inhibitor use, but data regarding the association between breast cancer occurrence and use of non-selective NSAIDs are conflicting.
We conducted a population-based case-control study using Danish healthcare databases to examine if use of NSAIDs, including sCox-2 inhibitors, was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. We included 8,195 incident breast cancer cases diagnosed in 1991 through 2006 and 81,950 population controls.
Overall, we found no reduced breast cancer risk in ever users (>2 prescriptions) of sCox-2 inhibitors (odds ratio (OR) = 1.08, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.99, 1.18), aspirin (OR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.90-1.07), or non-selective NSAIDs OR = 1.04, (95% CI = 0.98, 1.10)). Recent use (>2 prescriptions within two years of index date) of sCox-2 inhibitors, aspirin, or non-selective NSAIDs was likewise not associated with breast cancer risk (Ors = 1.06 (95% CI = 0.96, 1.18), 0.96 (95% CI = 0.87, 1.06) and 0.99 (95% CI = 0.85, 1.16), respectively). Risk estimates by duration (<10, 10 to 15, 15+ years) or intensity (low/medium/high) of NSAID use were also close to unity. Regardless of intensity, shorter or long-term NSAID use was not significantly associated with breast cancer risk.
Overall, we found no compelling evidence of a reduced risk of breast cancer associated with use of sCox-2 inhibitors, aspirin, or non-selective NSAIDs.