publication date: Oct. 5, 2018
Aspirin lowers risk of ovarian and hepatocellular cancer
Regular use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma, according to two studies published Oct. 4 in JAMA Oncology.
The studies were conducted by Moffitt Cancer Center and Massachusetts General Hospital.
The Moffitt study found that women who reported taking a low-dose aspirin every day had a 23 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer compared to nonaspirin users. For this study, Shelley Tworoger, associate center director for Population Science at Moffitt, worked with researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to analyze data from more than 200,000 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Studies based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynecological cancer, largely due to lack of early detection strategies. It is believed that inflammation that occurs during ovulation plays a role in the development of this cancer. But anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, have been shown to lower the risk of certain types of cancers.
Of the participants, 1,054 developed ovarian cancer. Researchers looked at the participants’ use of aspirin (325 milligrams), low-dose aspirin (100 milligrams or less), non-aspirin NSAIDs and acetaminophen. Their analysis found that low-dose aspirin use was associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer while standard-dose aspirin use was not.
Conversely, the data showed that women who took non-aspirin NSAIDs often, defined by at least 10 tablets per week for many years, had an increased risk of developing the disease. The findings help confirm research published earlier this year by Tworoger in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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