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Low-dose aspirin may cut ovarian cancer risk by 23%


MANY people take a low-dose aspirin daily in the hope of preventing heart problems. Now, researchers have found that women who regularly took a low-dose aspirin - generally 81 milligrams - were 23 per cent less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who did not take this type of aspirin.

The finding, published in JAMA Oncology, looked at medical data from 205,498 women, including their use of low-dose aspirin, standard dose aspirin (325 mg), acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that do not contain aspirin, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. In more than two decades, 1,054 of the women developed ovarian cancer.

Although those taking low-dose aspirin had a lower cancer risk, it appeared there was no beneficial link between ovarian cancer development and taking either standard-dose aspirin or acetaminophen. In fact, the researchers wrote that their "results suggest that heavy use of (NSAIDs) may be associated with an increased risk" of ovarian cancer.

Although not that common, ovarian cancer is the deadliest type of gynaecological cancer.

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Women usually have no symptoms when the disease is in its early stages, so it is often not detected until the cancer is advanced and has spread, making it much harder to treat. Taking low-dose aspirin regularly, however, is not right for everyone. It can increase the risk of bleeding and also lead to stomach ulcers. It's best to consult a doctor before starting a daily aspirin regimen, medical practitioners advise. WP

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