Health Discoveries in Pancreatic Cancer

Aspirin use linked to lower risk of pancreatic cancer

April 18, 2011
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that aspirin taken as little as once monthly may reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Reviewing the cases of more than 2,100 people, including about 900 who developed pancreatic cancer, the research team concluded that taking full-strength aspirin once a month lowered the cancer risk by 26 percent.

Those who took low-dose aspirin had a 35 percent lowered risk. The use of NSAIDs and acetaminophen had no such effect.

Previous research also has indicated that aspirin may inhibit the development of both colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.

"This provides additional evidence that aspirin may have chemoprevention activity against pancreatic cancer," said Dr. Xiang-Lin Tan, a research fellow at the Rochester, Minnesota clinic. "[But] the results are not meant to suggest everyone should start taking aspirin once monthly to reduce their risk of pancreatic cancer. Individuals should discuss use of aspirin with their physicians because the drug carries some side effects."

The study was presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, a clinical trial under way on colon and rectal cancer is examining the effects of chemotherapy with various drug combinations. Patients with both types of cancers are included in the study.
 
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