Study finds aspirin might prevent pancreatic cancer in women

Researchers at the University School of Public Health say they have strong evidence that taking aspirin could help prevent pancreatic cancer.

While previous studies have come to a similar conclusion, this study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is the largest of its kind to date.

Professor Kristin Anderson and her colleagues followed more than 28,000 post-menopausal women from 1992-99, tracking their use of aspirin and products containing aspirin. During the seven-year study, doctors diagnosed 80 of those women with pancreatic cancer. Of those 80, two-thirds reported either taking aspirin less than once per week or not at all.

“Based on these observations, we estimate that aspirin use might prevent 43 percent of pancreatic cancer cases in women who do not normally use aspirin,” Anderson said.

Further studies are needed to determine the ideal dose and duration, she said.

The study was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.

– Dan Haugen