An aspirin a day causes breast cancer?

When it comes to drugs we think are safe, aspirin has to be at the top of the list. It’s been around forever and, yes, we all know it can cause ulcers if taken to excess, but no one thinks of it as dangerous. Can it actually cause cancer?

This is exactly what a recent study seems to imply. The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (June 1, 2005, Vol. 97, No. 11: 805-12) evaluated data on some 114,000 women aged 22 to 85 who participated in the California Teachers Study.

Researchers concluded that women who took an aspirin a day for five years or longer suffered a dramatic increase in non-hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Not only that, the study concluded that women who took ibuprofen every day for the same period also experienced a rise in breast cancer rates, in this case of all types of breast cancer.

The first to be surprised were the researchers themselves, who had expected to discover another hidden benefit of these drugs. University of Southern California researcher Sarah Marshall stated: “We were expecting ibuprofen to reduce the risk, and the same for aspirin.” Although the American Cancer Society issued a statement suggesting the results of this study may be due to chance, this seems unlikely considering the very large size of the population analyzed.

From a natural medicine point of view there has never been a need for daily aspirin or ibuprofen and, in fact, certain types of digestive enzymes taken between meals seem to do everything these medications do – except better. A detailed discussion of the benefits of enzymes can be found in the book The Aspirin Alternative, by Michael Loes, MD available from

But could enzymes also cause some kind of mischief with long-term use? The question is worth raising although the answer is most likely to be negative because in every direction we look enzymes seem to work by strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, and promoting recovery from injury. A different, but related type of enzymes is being used as the critical component of a non-toxic cancer treatment program that has been validated by research. If you are interested in learning more about enzyme therapy in cancer I suggest you visit

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