Media Doctor Canada
Follow us on Twitter








"Aspirin may cut breast cancer risk"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 08 Oct 2021

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

A new international study involving Canadian researchers is providing some of the most compelling evidence to date that anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin and Advil may reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.

Researchers reviewed 38 studies that involved a total of 2.7 million women from five countries and found that those who regularly took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) had a lower incidence of breast cancer...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 3 of 9
Availability of Treatment Not Applicable
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Despite several strong reporting components (i.e. addressing novelty and harms), this report was missing some key pieces of information that would prevent readers from making an informed medical decision. While the report was careful not to suggest that all women with any risk of breast cancer should immediately purchase a year's supply of aspirin or ibuprofen, the limited information provided about the study design and the inconclusive evidence provided in the article resulted in a reduced rating.

The article provides breast cancer risk reduction in relative terms without providing the cancer risk (baseline) for an average person. In addition to including the absolute risk reduction values, it would be beneficial for readers to know the scope of the treatment success- i.e. did the aspirin help 1 in every 10 breast cancer patients or did it help 7 in every 10 cancer patients?

While the use of this familiar drug may eventually prove to be beneficial in reducing the risk of breast cancer, the preliminary nature of these results and the information provided in this report do not give readers a complete picture of this potential preventative therapy.

public forum

There are currently no comments on this article.

voice your opinion in the forum

  • All comments and feedback submitted to Media Doctor are subject to editorial approval before being made viewable by the public. It may take up to a week for your comments to be approved. Additionally, no response will be given to questions posed in public comments. Media Doctor does not provide medical advice, or answers to medical questions posed by the public.
  • If you provide your email address it will not be displayed to the general public.
  • Comments may be edited by Media Doctor to remove defamatory or sensitive statements, and brand names.
  • Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
Name: *
Comments: *
Copyright © Media Doctor Canada