NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The regular use of aspirin, but not other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer-related death, particularly among former smokers and those who never smoked.
NSAIDs include commonly used analgesic drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, that are usually available over-the-counter.
The findings were reported Monday at the 100th annual gathering of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles by Dr. Aditya Bardia of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.
"The take-home message is that aspirin might have anti-cancer effects, but can also have adverse effects such as gastric bleeding. One should speak to his or her doctor about the risks and benefits of aspirin use," Bardia told Reuters Health.
Previous studies have looked at whether aspirin or NSAIDs prevent specific cancers, such as breast cancer, Bardia noted.