Aspirin may cut ovarian cancer risk

Aspirin may reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer, reports JAMA Oncology. Although more studies are needed, the analysis also suggests that NSAIDs may increase the risk.

Researchers followed women in two studies who were aged, on average, 45.9 and 34.2 years. One study ran from 1980-2014 and the other from 1989-2015. Of the 205,498 women, 1,054 developed epithelial ovarian cancer, the commonest form of this malignancy.

Women who regularly used low-dose aspirin (100mg a day or less) were 23 per cent less likely to develop ovarian cancer than nonusers. Standard-dose (325mg) aspirin was associated with a 17 per cent increase in risk, which was not statistically significant. Regular NSAID users, however, were at a significant 19 per cent increased risk.

Ovarian cancer risk rose with the number of tablets and the duration: women who took a total of at least 2,500 NSAIDs, standard-dose aspirin and paracetamol tablets were 65, 58 and 41 per cent more likely to develop ovarian cancer than non-users, although only the first of these was statistically significant.

“We are not quite at the stage where we could make the recommendation that daily aspirin use lowers ovarian cancer risk,” says Shelley Tworoger, associate center director for population science at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. “We need to do more research but it is definitely something women should discuss with their physician.”

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