Aspirin May Help Prevent Ovarian Cancer
The study claims that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol (acetaminophen), and other analgesics do not lower the chance of development of ovarian cancer.
The benefits of aspirin clearly outweigh the risks, according to a recent study published in The Lancet. The study claims that aspirin has positive outcomes, but should not be taken daily unless advised by a doctor.
Authors of the trial state that ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of death from cancer among women living in developed countries, as well as the single "deadliest gynecological malignancy."
According to prior studies, Denmark, with an incidence of 11 per 100,000 females and mortality at 7 per 100,000, has one of the highest rates in the world.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said that in the U.S, 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Of these women, the oldest is 60 years, and 90% are over the age of 40.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Susanne Kjær from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center, said:
"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. Our study examined the role of analgesics in development of ovarian cancer."
During the new investigation, experts utilized data from MALOVA, the malignant ovarian cancer study, which was a population-based, case-control trial conducted between 1995 and 1999, involving 756 Danish females.
The participants had epithelial cancer, categorized by the kind of glandular tumors (adenocarcinomas). Of these women, 447 cases were serous, 138 were mucinous, and 171 were other varieties.
From the general population, the researchers drew random samples of 1,564 females ages 35 to 79. The women were questioned individually regarding their analgesic medication usage.
The results revealed that those who were taking aspirin consistently had a lower risk of serous ovarian cancer (odds ratio, OR=.60). They did not discover any less risk of ovarian cancer in women who reported taking non-aspirin NSAIDs, acetaminophen or other kinds of pain relief medications.
"Our findings suggest a potential protective effect of analgesic use on ovarian cancer risk, but that benefit should be balanced against adverse effects of pain medication use, such as risk of bleeding and peptic ulcers."
Experts note that more research is needed to determine exact dosages, frequency, and how long the patients had been taking the medications, in order to fully comprehend analgesics' influence on ovarian cancer.
Dr. Magnus Westgren from Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden agrees with the authors of this trial that methods to stop ovarian cancer are necessary. He discusses techniques for preventing this horrible form of cancer in patients who are at risk of the disease. In particular, he talks about bilateral salingectomy (BSE), which is a procedure to remove fallopian tubes.
Westgren says in his editorial, "If we informed women about the possibility of performing BSE at repeat cesarean section for ovarian cancer prevention, it is likely that many women would opt for the proceduce."
Written by Christine Kearney
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