The list of aspirin’s health benefits continues grow. The latest: A new study by Danish researchers has found the standby painkiller may decrease the risk of an aggressive form of ovarian cancer.
The research — published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology — shows women who regularly use aspirin have a decreased risk of serous ovarian cancer that affects the surface of the ovary.
The results indicated that non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol (acetaminophen), and other analgesics did not decrease ovarian cancer risk. SPECIAL: This Small Group of Doctors are Quietly Curing Cancer — Read More.
"Ovarian cancer has a high mortality. Understanding what factors are involved in the development of this disease and investigating preventative interventions for women are vitally important," said lead researcher Dr. Susanne Kjaer, with the Danish Cancer Society Research Center. "Our study examined the role of analgesics in development of ovarian cancer."
Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of death by cancer for women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, with 90 percent occurring in women older than 40 years of age and the greatest number in those 60 years or older.
For the new study, researchers tracked the medical charts of 756 women with epithelial ovarian cancer, and compared them 1,564 similar healthy women, between the ages of 35 and 79. Personal interviews were conducted to determine the women’s use of painkillers.
The results showed women taking aspirin on a regular basis decreased their risk of serous ovarian cancer by 60 percent.
"Our findings suggest a potential protective effect of analgesic use on ovarian cancer risk,” Kjaer said, “but that benefit should be balanced against adverse effects of pain medication use such as risk of bleeding and peptic ulcers." SPECIAL: This Small Group of Doctors are Quietly Curing Cancer — Read More.