Common Pain Relievers and Ovarian Cancer Survival: Is There a Link?


In a retrospective study looking at the use of aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), researchers determined that these medications are associated with increased ovarian cancer survival rates. This study was conducted at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center in Honolulu and the results were published in Lancet Oncology.

The researchers used data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Study II to determine if use of analgesics – aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen – affected ovarian cancer outcomes. The study involved 1,143 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer from 1989 to 2013, 1,031 of whom completed a pre-diagnosis questionnaire about analgesic use, and 964 of whom completed a similar post-diagnosis questionnaire.

While the researchers found no association between pre-diagnosis aspirin or NSAID use and survival, women who reported using these medications after their diagnosis had improved survival rates. Acetaminophen was not associated with improvements, pre- or post-diagnosis. According to the researchers, inflammation is associated with worse outcomes in women with ovarian cancer.

Sourced from: Lancet Oncology