Daily intake of aspirin can reduce the risk of cervical cancer

Wednesday 06th May 2015 06:18 EDT

Washington: American researchers have found that daily intake of aspirin could lower the risk of cervical cancer. They found that people who took aspirin seven or more times a week had a 47 per cent lower risk of developing the disease. And researchers found this was the case regardless of how many years women had been taking the drug.

In addition, those who had been taking the drug frequently for five or more years had a 41 per cent reduced risk. Meanwhile, paracetamol, or acetaminophen, was not linked with a reduced risk of cervical cancer.

Professor Kirsten Moysich, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said: “Aspirin use remains an attractive cancer-prevention option, due to the fact that most people will be more likely to take a pill rather than make major lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity. However, people should seek the advice of their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen.”

As part of the study, Professor Moysich and colleagues examined 328 patients with cervical cancer and 1,312 other patients who did not have the disease. The participants were all matched by age, and were all treated at Roswell Park between 1982 and 1998. They provided self-reported information on how often and for how many years they took both aspirin and paracetamol.

The researchers did not study why aspirin could prevent the disease developing.

In the US, 4,100 women will die of cervical cancer in 2015. Dr Moysich said more research was needed on how aspirin and paracetamol (or acetaminophen) may prevent cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a relatively uncommon type of cancer that develops in a woman's cervix, the entrance to the womb from the vagina.

It often has no symptoms in its early stages, but the most common ones are unusual vaginal bleeding which can occur after sex, in-between periods or after the menopause.

Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV is a very common virus that can be passed on through any type of sexual contact with a man or a woman. There are more than 100 different types of HPV, many of which are harmless.

However, some types of HPV can disrupt the normal functioning of the cells of the cervix and can eventually trigger the onset of cancer.

In the UK, 3,064 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2011, according to Cancer Research. Just fewer than 1,000 women die from cervical cancer every year, according to NHS Choices.

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