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NSAIDs and cancer

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

"Owing to the limited prevention strategies available for breast and ovarian cancers, the potential for commonly used analgesics, such as aspirin and NSAIDs, as chemopreventive agents could have considerable public health benefit," Katherine Crew, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, et al., state in the February Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology. However, "it is still too early to suggest that the regular use of these drugs could help prevent breast or ovarian cancers [and] it would not be wise to promote regular aspirin or NSAID use for cancer prevention until other health risks from these medications, such as gastric ulcers could be assessed," they state. The article provides a review of studies evaluating the link between aspirin, NSAIDs and cancer. "The majority of case-control studies have shown that the regular use of NSAIDs is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer," Crew et al. state, noting that the optimal dose, frequency and type of NSAID required for maximum reduction of cancer risk is still unknown...
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