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AACR: Aspirin Use Tied to Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Use at least once a month linked to lower risk; association not seen with non-aspirin NSAIDS

TUESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin use at least once monthly appears to be associated with a reduced risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held April 2 to 6 in Orlando, Fla.

Xiang-Lin Tan, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues evaluated the use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and acetaminophen by questionnaire in 904 patients who had documented pancreatic cancer and about 1,220 healthy controls.

Compared to individuals who did not take aspirin regularly, the investigators found that those who took aspirin at least one day during a month had a 26 percent decreased risk of pancreatic cancer. After adjusting for the potential confounders of body mass index and smoking status, the effect remained significant. Compared to never and current smokers, the inverse relationship between aspirin use and pancreatic cancer risk was stronger among former smokers. However, there was not a statistically significant interaction. Acetaminophen and non-aspirin NSAID use was not found to be associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.

"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," Tan said in a statement.

Abstract No. 1902
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