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Non-aspirin NSAIDs may reduce lung cancer risk


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Non-aspirin NSAIDs may reduce lung cancer risk

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The long-term use of non-aspirin anti-inflammatory painkillers, or NSAIDs, appears to slightly reduce the risk of a person developing lung cancer, according to research published in the International Journal of Cancer.

"Regular use of aspirin or other NSAIDs reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and might reduce the risk of additional gastrointestinal cancers as well," Dr. Sonia Hernandez-Diaz, of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues write. "The effect of NSAIDs on the development and progression of other types of cancer remains controversial."

Because of its high prevalence, the researchers examined whether lung cancer risk is influenced by the use of aspirin or other specific NSAIDs.

Analyses centered on 4,336 lung cancer patients and 10,000 healthy controls. At 13 to 24 months before diagnosis, aspirin was prescribed to 22.1 percent of the lung cancer patients and 17.3 percent of controls. Another 21.6 percent and 21.5 percent of cases and controls, respectively, were prescribed non-aspirin NSAIDs at least 13 months before the first lung cancer was diagnosed.

Compared with non-use, use of non-aspirin NSAIDs was associated with a 24 percent reduced relative risk of lung cancer. The inverse association between non-aspirin NSAIDs and lung cancer was more evident in men than women. It was also more apparent for smokers than for non-smokers.

There was no apparent protective effect of aspirin on lung cancer risk, even for long-term use and higher doses.

Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the chemo-preventive effects of NSAIDs, including enhancement of the immune system and a reduction in inflammation.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, April 2007.


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