Daily low-dose aspirin may lower risk of ovarian cancer

Women who recently and regularly take a daily low-dose aspirin may lower their risk of developing ovarian ca...

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 3:19 PM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 3:19 PM

Women who recently and regularly take a daily low-dose aspirin may lower their risk of developing ovarian cancer, new research suggests.

The study highlights two important caveats. Daily use of standard-dose aspirin (325 milligrams) does not reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, and heavy use of nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, may increase the risk, suggests the study, published Thursday in the medical journal JAMA Oncology.

Cancer

Diseases and disorders

Health and health care (by demographic group)

Health and medical

Ovarian cancer

Urogenital disorders and injuries

Women's health

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Demographic groups

Females (demographic group)

Pharmaceutical industry

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

Pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs

Population and demographics

Society

Medical treatments and procedures

Pain management

Another potential limitation: The result was found only in women who had been using low-dose aspirin for less than a year.

Aspirin is believed to lower the risk of ovarian cancer -- the fifth most common cause of cancer-related death among American women -- by reducing inflammation, according to the authors.

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.

Of those women, 1,054 developed ovarian cancer. The research team examined how these women used aspirin, non-aspirin NSAIDs and acetaminophen and compared their behavior with that of other participants.

Analysis showed that women who had been using low-dose aspirin for less than a year had a 23% lower risk of ovarian cancer than women who did not use aspirin at all. 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.

By contrast, use of non-aspirin NSAIDs for less than a year was associated with a 19% increased risk of ovarian cancer, the researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found.

NSAIDs taken in quantities of at least 10 tablets per week for multiple years increased the risk of ovarian cancer by 34%. However, when NSAIDs were used less than two days a week for five years or longer, they were not linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Older women who take low-dose aspirin to reduce their risk of heart disease are not likely to increase their risk of ovarian cancer, the researchers concluded.

Other scientists believe further research is needed to verify the results.

Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told Science Media Centre the new analysis is "good, but the limitations in the data mean that the findings should be treated with caution."

"The results are slightly puzzling in relation to aspirin, with low doses showing a decreased risk and higher doses showing an increased risk," said Evans, who did not participate in the research. "This could be an indication that unmeasured factors are an explanation for the findings."

"Other pain-relieving drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin at higher doses do not have this reassurance for long-term use," he said. "However, the risk for any particular individual, even if these findings are correct, is not high, and they may not be correct."

Eric J. Jacobs, a cancer epidemiologist and strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society, said, "At best, the overall evidence suggests that aspirin only slightly lowers risk of ovarian cancer.

"There is still too little evidence to conclude that aspirin use helps lower risk of liver or ovarian cancer, and people should not take aspirin in the hopes of preventing these cancers," added Jacobs, who was not involved in the research.

The study authors also said that more research is needed to understand how "heavy use of aspirin, nonaspirin NSAIDs, and acetaminophen may contribute to the development of ovarian cancer."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 70930

Reported Deaths: 2043
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5803124
DeSoto379632
Harrison266336
Madison250372
Jackson241147
Rankin233738
Jones194562
Forrest186557
Washington173945
Lee161042
Lauderdale145894
Neshoba130994
Lamar124616
Bolivar116737
Warren115136
Oktibbeha114539
Lowndes111440
Panola109618
Sunflower108628
Lafayette102520
Scott101720
Copiah97329
Leflore96368
Pike96037
Holmes92849
Yazoo87413
Pontotoc8669
Grenada86126
Lincoln84943
Monroe83955
Simpson82231
Leake80427
Coahoma79813
Wayne79021
Tate75330
Marshall74010
Union73217
Marion69221
Adams64726
Covington64115
Winston63716
George6059
Pearl River57140
Newton56711
Tallahatchie55011
Attala53925
Walthall51922
Chickasaw49119
Noxubee46612
Prentiss46210
Tishomingo4539
Alcorn4455
Calhoun4289
Smith41513
Hancock41415
Jasper4129
Tippah41114
Claiborne41014
Clay40614
Itawamba40410
Tunica3677
Clarke35528
Montgomery3467
Lawrence3328
Yalobusha31810
Humphreys30312
Quitman2751
Carroll26311
Greene26213
Webster25013
Perry2498
Jefferson Davis2436
Amite2426
Kemper24114
Wilkinson22714
Stone2256
Sharkey2097
Jefferson1977
Benton1571
Choctaw1384
Franklin1372
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 102196

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13578262
Mobile10747221
Montgomery6999153
Madison555035
Tuscaloosa435080
Unassigned406169
Baldwin374429
Shelby338137
Marshall320738
Lee273647
Morgan244320
Etowah220934
DeKalb186614
Calhoun185319
Elmore178339
Walker156265
Houston145913
Limestone139313
Russell13912
St. Clair138120
Dallas134825
Franklin131022
Cullman124612
Colbert123218
Lauderdale121320
Autauga119622
Escambia109417
Talladega108714
Jackson10794
Tallapoosa87879
Dale85629
Chambers84838
Blount8355
Chilton8309
Clarke82710
Coffee7816
Butler77536
Covington75521
Pike7167
Marion59226
Barbour5866
Lowndes57524
Marengo57217
Bullock49311
Hale48726
Bibb4575
Winston45611
Washington45313
Perry4484
Wilcox44510
Monroe4256
Pickens41310
Randolph40411
Conecuh39710
Sumter37019
Lawrence3603
Macon34414
Crenshaw3338
Choctaw29012
Cherokee2888
Clay2785
Geneva2692
Henry2683
Greene25511
Lamar2372
Fayette2275
Cleburne1301
Coosa1063
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 88°
Columbus
Overcast
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 98°
Oxford
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 91°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather