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Aspirin's potential impact on reducing risk of ovarian cancer

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More kudos for aspirin as researchers from the National Cancer Institute announced that women who took low dose aspirin (under 100mg) daily may actually reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by 20%.

The conclusion is based on a meta-analysis study in which Dr. Britton Trabert, of the NCI’s cancer epidemiology and genetics division, NCI colleague Dr. Nicholas Wentzman and Dr. Vincent Yang, chairman of medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital, re-examined previously published data from 12 previous studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. The data included 7,776 women who had ovarian cancer and 11,843 women who did not. The participants took either aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

In the end, the researchers found that those who took aspirin had the highest risk reduction, while those who took the non-aspirin ibuprofen at least once a week had only a 10% reduction in risk. There was no ovarian risk reduction among the group given acetaminophen.

“However intriguing our results are, they should not influence current clinical practice,” cautioned Trabert, who stressed the need for additional studies to “explore the delicate balance of risk-benefit for this potential chemo-preventive agent, as well as studies to identify the mechanism by which aspirin may reduce ovarian cancer risk."

Still, the research does go along with increasing evidence that “the pennies per dose drug has a powerful impact on cancer prevention.”

Note: Scientists have also found that aspirin also appears to reduce the risk of multiple myeloma (a cancer involving cells that form blood in bone marrow), as well as breast and colorectal cancers. Before going on a daily aspirin regimen, readers should consult with their own doctors regarding their own health conditions and well-being.

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