Frequent aspirin use is linked with lower ovarian cancer risk in individuals with multiple risk factors, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
“Ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynecologic cancer. Most known risk factors of ovarian cancer—such as family history, mutations in the BRCA1 and 2 genes, and endometriosis—can’t be modified,” says Britton Trabert, investigator and researcher at the U’s Huntsman Cancer Institute.
“Daily, or almost daily, aspirin use was associated with a 13 percent reduction in ovarian cancer risk, and we found that aspirin benefited most subgroups. This research also provides further evidence that ovarian cancer chemoprevention with frequent aspirin use could benefit people in higher-risk subgroups.”
Subgroups were defined by individual risk factors including endometriosis, obesity, a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, and tubal ligation, and by number of risk factors: none, one, and two or more.
Prior research reported that daily aspirin use is linked with reduced ovarian cancer rates. However, individual studies have not been able to see whether aspirin would be beneficial to people at varying risk of disease.
Trabert hopes patients and clinicians use this research to have an informed conversation when discussing potential preventive measures for ovarian cancer. Women should consult their health care providers before beginning any new medication in order to appropriately balance potential risks with benefits.