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29 October 2003

Aspirin, pancreatic cancer link?

Women who take two or more aspirin tablets weekly for many years may be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer, Harvard Medical School researchers say.

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Women who take two or more aspirin tablets weekly for many years may be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer, Harvard Medical School researchers say.

But the study's authors and other experts caution that the results are only preliminary and warn that no conclusive evidence has been established, reports Newsday.

"It is way too [early] to recommend any changes in aspirin use by women," the study's chief author, Dr Eva Schernhammer, tells the New York newspaper.

Early research points to higher risk
Among 88 378 women studied, the researchers found that those who took two or more aspirin weekly for 20 years had a 58 percent higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to results presented in Phoenix at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

But the newspaper cites a 2002 study that reached the exact opposite conclusion. Last year, University of Minnesota researchers studied 28 283 women and found that regular aspirin takers had a 43 percent lower rate of pancreatic cancer.

Weighed against aspirin's benefits
Experts tell the newspaper that even if aspirin were eventually found to increase risk of the disease, those results would have to be weighed against aspirin's proven benefits in thwarting other conditions, including heart disease. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Cancer Centre
Medicines and You

 
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