Aspirin Lowers Liver Cancer Risk, Study Confirms

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Taking two or more 325 mg tablets a week for at least five years significantly reduces the risk of primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), according to an analysis of two long-term studies by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. Results of their research, published in JAMA Oncology, support evidence from earlier studies.

The researchers looked at more than 30 years of data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the HealthProfessionals Follow-up Study. Every two years during the study period, participants were questioned about whether they took aspirin on a regular basis, how many standard (325 mg) doses they averaged per week, and for how long. The researchers compiled information about liver cancer rates from the participant questionnaires and the National Death Index maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics on more than 133,300 study participants.

They found that, compared to those who did not use aspirin, regular aspirin users had a 49 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer. Those who regularly used aspirin for at least five years had a 59 percent lower risk of liver cancer. Other pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, didn’t affect liver cancer risk.

Worldwide, liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. Incidence in the United States has increased in the past 40 years — primarily due to higher rates of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Mortality rates from liver cancer have risen faster than deaths from any other type of cancer, in part because it’s is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, and when it is, it has an average survival time of less than one year.

Sourced from: JAMA Oncology