Wednesday Bubble: No pain, no…killing two birds with one stone?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2010 in breast cancer, menopause, ovarian cancer | 0 comments

Got pain? It is possible that if you regularly use aspirin, acetaminophen or NSAIDS (e.g. ibuprofen) during menopause, you may be reducing your risk for breast or ovarian cancer as well. Sort of a two birds with one stone approach. I like it!

This latest bit of great news comes from analyses of blood samples and questionnaires collected from  740 women who participated in a breast cancer trial as part of the Nurses Health Study, an ongoing investigation of factors that influence women’s health. At the time that information was collected, the women had no cancer, were in menopause and had not used hormones.Study findings, which are published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention showed that on average, mean levels of naturally  estrogen (i.e. estradiol), were more than 10% lower among women who reported regular use of aspirin or NSAIDS, and 15% lower among women reporting use of any sort of analgesic agent.

Although this specific study did not look at the link between hormones levels and cancer, previous studies have shown use of NSAIDs may lower breast cancer risk by as much as 12% to 25%; the evidence for ovarian cancer isn’t quite that strong.

Mind you, researchers say that these results don’t actually confirm if aspirin-like drugs cause estrogen levels to drop but there is an association. More research is needed to see if there is a firm link between declines in hormones after analgesic use and lower risk or breast or ovarian cancer. If it is true, there is a possibility that aspirin-like drugs could be used more regularly in this fashion.

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  1. Round-up: March news and tidbits « Flashfree - [...] No pain, no. Killing two birds with one stone – Can analgesics prevent breast cancer? Only time will tell.…

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