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Frequent Aspirin Use Reduces Risk of Cervical Cancer by Nearly Half

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Key Points

  • Aspirin use was associated with a 47% reduced risk of cervical cancer among frequent users—those who used aspirin seven or more times a week, regardless of duration.
  • It was also associated with 41% reduced risk among long-term frequent users—those with 5 or more years of frequent use.
  • Acetaminophen use was not associated with decreased risk of cervical cancer.

Long-term and frequent use of aspirin is associated with significantly decreased risk of cervical cancer, according to a study led by researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and published by Friel et al in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease.

Study Findings

Aspirin use was associated with a 47% reduced risk of cervical cancer among frequent users (those who used aspirin seven or more times a week, regardless of duration) and 41% reduced risk among long-term frequent users (those with 5 or more years of frequent use). Acetaminophen use was not associated with decreased risk of cervical cancer. 

A research team led by Kirsten Moysich, PhD, Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park, reported the results from the first United States–based study to examine the association between regular use of aspirin or acetaminophen.

“Aspirin use remains an attractive cancer prevention option, due to the fact that most people will be more likely to take a pill rather than make major lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in physical activity. However, people need to talk to their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen,” said Dr. Moysich.

Patient Population

The study examined 328 patients with cervical cancer and 1,312 controls, matched on age and decade, who enrolled in a hospital-based case-control study drawn from 26,831 patients who received treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and completed the Patient Epidemiology Data System questionnaire between 1982 and 1998. Participants provided self-reported information on the frequency and duration of aspirin and/or acetaminophen use.

“Further research is needed,” added Dr. Moysich, “on the role of daily, long-term use of aspirin and acetaminophen as both cervical cancer chemopreventive agents and enhancement to standard treatment strategies post-diagnosis.”

This study was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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