Aspirin may lower risk of ovarian cancer

Aspirin may lower risk of ovarian cancer

Aspirin may lower risk of ovarian cancer

However, women who used low-dose aspirin for five years or longer and those who used standard-dose aspirin (325 milligrams) did not show improved odds against developing ovarian cancer, the study indicated.

NSAIDs taken in quantities of at least 10 tablets per week for multiple years increased the risk of ovarian cancer by 34%. In 400 BC, Hippocrates described the ability of salicylic tea to relieve fever and by the 19th century, pharmacists were widely prescribing salicylic acid derivatives.

And in the past two decades, aspirin has increasingly been looked at to help prevent cancer. This is partially based on the idea that aspirin reduces inflammation, because human tumors are generally infiltrated by inflammatory cells.

Last week, United Kingdom researchers published an analysis of 71 studies involving 120,000 patients with cancer who took aspirin and 400,000 patients who did not.

"So, have we arrived?" Aspirin is known to block the production of inflammatory lipids that can lead to liver injury, and while some previous studies have suggested that regular use could help prevent HCC, information on the optimal dosage and required duration of treatment has not been available. Both prospective studies were conducted in the U.S.

A paper on this study - which was led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA - is to appear in the JAMA Oncology journal.

The new analysis included data on 205,498 women who were part of the Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study II, two long-term studies that use questionnaires to track disease and health behavior in women. The self-reports gave details of timing, pattern, frequency, and duration of use, including numbers of tablets taken. Among the 205498 women in both cohorts, there were 1054 cases of ovarian cancer recorded over the course of the study period, which was up to 30 years.

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Women who use low-dose aspirin (100 mg or less) had a 23% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer when compared with women who did not regularly take aspirin.

The study also found that long-term heavy use of non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. But anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, have been shown to lower the risk of certain types of cancers.

And increasing duration of aspirin use (≥5 years) was significantly tied to lower HCC risk (P=0.03 for trend), most notably with ≥1.5 tablets of regular-dose aspirin per week (adjusted HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.21-0.77).

In citing reasons for their investigation, Dr. Barnard and her colleagues note that there are "few modifiable risk factors" for ovarian cancer.

"These data also add to a growing list of cancers for which aspirin appears to have anti-cancer activity", he said in the news release. "Research to uncover the mechanisms by which aspirin inhibits hepatocarcinogenesis may facilitate the development of HCC primary prevention strategies".

Seewaldt said the two studies "have the power to start to change clinical practice", but cautioned that the risk-benefit ratio must be considered when recommending aspirin.

The risk reduction declined after people stopped taking aspirin, however.

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