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September 14, 2006

Daily Aspirin Use Linked With Pancreatic Cancer

Topics: Health Issues

(Click on image for more info on pancreatic cancer)

Millions of people take aspirin daily to prevent heart attack and stroke as well as to for headaches, but a new study shows that doing so may raise the risk of getting deadly pancreatic cancer, which affects only 31,000 Americans a year, but kills virtually every one of its victims within three years:

... The study of 88,000 nurses found that those who took two or more aspirins a week for 20 years or more had a 58 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer. "Apart from smoking, this one of the few risk factors that have been identified for pancreatic cancer," ...

... "Initially we expected that aspirin would protect against pancreatic cancer, especially since its preventive role in colorectal cancer has been well documented. However, now it appears that we need to examine the relationship more thoroughly," ...

... "This finding does not mean that women should no longer use aspirin. There are still important benefits to the drug; we also need other large cohort studies to confirm our finding before we can draw any conclusions."

The study involved only women and no conclusions can be extrapolated to men. As mentioned in the news article, even with the increased risk of pancreatic cancer, heart disease is a much greater threat to the health of both men and women, but women need to weigh the risks of both pancreatic cancer and heart disease, through consultation with their physician, when considering the use of apirin.

Posted by Richard at September 14, 2006 6:29 AM

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