(July 30, 2018) Recently, two retrospective studies were published about the effects of analgesics, or pain relievers, on ovarian cancer. The information is actually a culmination of two studies, both of which have led researchers to believe that there is an association between regular use of analgesics and both reduced risk of, and increased survival in, ovarian cancer patients.
The study in The Lancet Oncology, which combined the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, as well as information from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry was gathered to look at a population of almost 1,000 women with epithelial ovarian cancer with a documented history of using aspirin or non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The report concluded that women who took analgesics, even after diagnosis, had up to a 30% improvement in survival.
For the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers collected data from 13 studies worldwide and asked 750,000 women about their use of aspirin and NSAIDs. The women were then tracked for several decades in order to see who developed ovarian cancer. The report stated that, even though 3,500 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer over the course of the study, taking a daily analgesic such as aspirin reduced the risk by 10 percent.
The authors of the first study concluded that, “…if these results are confirmed in further studies, further research should explore potential synergistic effects of anti-inflammatory medications used in combination with standard ovarian cancer therapies to improve the prognosis for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer.”