Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 133–139 | Cite as

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and mammographic density

  • Gertraud Maskarinec
  • Yasuko Urano
  • Jasmeet Gill
  • Laurence N. Kolonel


Mammographic density has been established as a strong risk factor for breast cancer while use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) has been associated with a reduction in risk of breast cancer. The hypothesis is that NSAIDs reverses the expression of prostaglandin E2, thereby reducing the local production of estrogens. This report describes the differences in mammographic densities by duration of NSAID use in a multiethnic population. Information for this analysis was available from two previous investigations: a nutritional intervention study with 218 women and a nested case-control study of breast density with 1274 women. On the basis of self-reported medication use from a questionnaire common to both investigations, women were categorized into no use, up to 1 year, 2–5 years, 6–10 years, and 11+ years. Screening mammograms were assessed for density using a computer-assisted method. We applied general linear models to calculate mean percent densities for each medication use category while adjusting for covariates. The analysis of the overall study population did not show a significant association between total NSAID use and mammographic density. Contrary to our hypothesis, women with long-term total NSAID use had non-significantly higher densities than non-users. In addition, the results differed by menopausal status. Whereas the trend of higher densities with longer duration of total NSAID use was significant among postmenopausal women, breast density was slightly lower among premenopausal women with long-term NSAID use. Experimental studies need to be performed to study the effect, if any, of NSAID use on breast density.


NSAIDs Mammographic density Breast cancer Risk 



The Multiethnic Cohort Study has been supported by USPHS (National Cancer Insitute) Grant R37 CA 54281 (PI: Dr. L.N. Kolonel). The BEAN study was funded by NIH grant R01 CA80843 and the nested case-control study by R01 CA85265. One of the authors (JG) was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship on Grant R25 CA 90956.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertraud Maskarinec
    • 1
  • Yasuko Urano
    • 1
  • Jasmeet Gill
    • 1
  • Laurence N. Kolonel
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Research Center of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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