Frequent Aspirin Use Reduces Risk of Cervical Cancer by Nearly Half

Roswell Park Cancer Institute research first to report on role of self-reported use of aspirin
Thursday, April 30, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Long-term and frequent use of aspirin is associated with significantly decreased risk of cervical cancer, according to a study led by researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and published in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease.

Aspirin use was associated with a 47% reduced risk of cervical cancer among frequent users — those who used aspirin seven or more times a week, regardless of duration — and 41% reduced risk among long-term frequent users — those with five or more years of frequent use. Acetaminophen use was not associated with decreased risk of cervical cancer. A research team led by Kirsten Moysich, PhD, Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park, reported the results from the first U.S.-based study to examine the association between regular use of aspirin or acetaminophen.

“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 need to talk to their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen,” says Dr. Moysich.

The study examined 328 patients with cervical cancer and 1,312 controls, matched on age and decade, who enrolled in a hospital-based case-control study drawn from 26,831 patients who received treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and completed the Patient Epidemiology Data System questionnaire between 1982 and 1998. Participants provided self-reported information on the frequency and duration of aspirin and/or acetaminophen use.

“Further research is needed,” adds Dr. Moysich, “on the role of daily, long-term use of aspirin and acetaminophen as both cervical cancer chemopreventive agents and enhancement to standard treatment strategies post-diagnosis.”

According to the American Cancer Society, 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed and 4,100 women will die from the disease in 2015.

This work was supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI) grants P50CA159981 and R01CA126841. The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org. Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: 

Deborah Pettibone, Public Information Specialist
716-845-4919; deborah.pettibone@roswellpark.org