Long-Term NSAID Use May Increase Mortality Rates in Type 1 Endometrial Cancer
A new population-based study that was led by the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC—James) found that the ongoing use of over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen is tied to increased death risks in patients who are diagnosed with Type 1 endometrial cancers. Findings were published in the December 16, 2016, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The observational study involved a multi-institutional team of cancer researchers who sought to understand the association of regular NSAID use and the risk of dying from endometrial cancer in a cohort of more than 4,000 patients, according to Knowridge Science Report. The researchers discovered that regular NSAID use was associated with a 66 percent increased risk of dying from endometrial cancer in women diagnosed with Type 1 endometrial cancer, which is a typically less aggressive form of the cancer. The association was deemed statistically significant for those patients who reported past or current NSAID use at the time of their diagnosis.
The association was strongest in those patients who had previously used NSAIDs for more than 10 years but had stopped using the medication prior to their cancer diagnosis. According to Knowridge Science Report, NSAIDs use was not tied with death from what are considered typically more aggressive, Type 2 cancers. “There is a increasing evidence that chronic inflammation is involved in endometrial cancer and progression and recent data suggests that inhibition of inflammation through NSAID use plays a role,” says Theodore Brasky, PhD, co-lead author of the study and a cancer epidemiologist with the OSUCCC—James. “This study identifies a clear association that merits additional research to help us fully understand the biologic mechanisms behind this phenomenon,” he added, also noting that, “Our finding was surprising because it goes against previous studies that suggest NSAIDs can be used to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of developing or dying from certain cancers, like colorectal cancer.”
Researchers noted that specific dosages and NSAID use following surgery were not available in the current study, representing a significant limitation. “We are continuing to analyze the biologic mechanisms by which inflammation is related to cancer progression in this specific cohort of patients,” added Ashley Felix, PhD, co-lead author of the study and cancer epidemiologist with the OSUCCC—James and College of Public Health, Knowridge Science Report indicated.
“These results are intriguing and worthy of further investigation,” said David Cohn, MD, gynecologic oncology division director at the OSUCCC—James and study co-author. “It is important to remember that endometrial cancer patients are far more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than their cancer so women who take NSAIDs to reduce their risk of heart attack—under the guidance of their physicians—should continue doing so,” he added, according to Health Knowridge Science Report. “While these data are interesting, there is not yet enough data to make a public recommendation for or against taking NSAIDS to reduce the risk of cancer-related death.” Cohn suggested that woman who are concerned about the risks of long-term NSAID use should consult with their physicians.
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Regular NSAID Use May Increase Kidney Cancer Risks
Long-term NSAID users may have an increased risk of developing renal cell (kidney) cancer, according to a study recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
While some research suggests that NSAIDs may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, data now shows that NSAIDs may increase, rather than reduce, risk for some cancers, according to CancerConnect.com.
To research the association between NSAID use and kidney cancer, the team tracked aspirin, non-aspirin NSAID, and acetaminophen use among 77,525 women and 49,403 men who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Data were collected from 1990 for the Nurses’ Health Study and in 1986 for the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. CancerConnect.com indicated that data was collected again every two years through follow-up at 16 and 20 years, respectively. The researchers found:
- Some 333 cases of kidney cancer were diagnosed among participants in both studies, combined.
- Regular use of non-aspirin NSAIDs appeared to increase kidney cancer risk, with an increase in relative risk of 51 percent; regular use of aspirin and acetaminophen did not appear to increase risk of kidney cancer.
- Longer use of non-aspirin NSAIDs was tied to increasing risk of kidney cancer. Use for less than four years was associated with a 19 percent decreased relative risk of developing kidney cancer, use from four to 10 years was associated with a 36 percent increased relative risk, and use for 10 years or more was associated with a nearly three-fold increase in relative risk.
Researchers concluded that given that regular use of non-aspirin NSAIDs may increase risk of developing kidney cancer, “Risks and benefits should be considered in deciding whether to use [pain relievers].” Regular non-aspirin NSAID users may want to be especially aware of the risks and benefits, given the increased risk associated with long-term use.
According to WebMD, some smaller studies previously revealed a tentative link between painkillers and kidney cancer; however, researcher Eunyoung Cho, ScD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says this is the largest study to review the relationship between the disease and NSAIDs. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, sold under the brands Advil and Motrin; naproxen, sold under the brand Aleve; and Celebrex. Although aspirin is an NSAID, no association has been found between kidney cancer and aspirin.
Filing an NSAID Lawsuit
If you or someone you know suffered increased cancer injuries or death following ongoing use of NSAIDs, you may have valuable legal rights. Our personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).