The National Cancer Institute (NCI) today revealed the results of a new study showing that daily aspirin use could significantly reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in women. The study, published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that daily aspirin use could cut ovarian cancer risks by as much as one-fifth.
The study looked at 12 other large studies that were part of the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Around 8,000 women with ovarian cancer and 12,000 without were observed to see wether aspirin, acetaminophen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs might affect cancer risks. The study participants who used aspirin daily, according to researchers, saw a 20% lower risk for ovarian cancer than other participants who used aspirin less than once per week.
This study is the largest yet to link aspirin to a lower ovarian cancer risk. In recent years new studies have shown that anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin could help mitigate cancer risks caused by persistent inflammation.
“Our study suggests that aspirin regimens, proven to protect against heart attack, may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer as well,” said Britton Trabert, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Division of Cencer Epidemiology and Genetics at the NCI. “However intriguing our results are, they should not influence current clinical practice. Additional studies are needed to explore the delicate balance of risk-benefit for this potential chemopreventive agent, as well as studies to identify the mechanism by which aspirin may reduce ovarian cancer risk.”
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 20,000 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and that at least 14,000 of them will die from it.