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YOUR HEALTH: Using aspirin to lessen the chances of ovarian cancer

Moffitt Cancer Center research finds low doses of aspirin daily can cut the chances of ovarian cancer.

TAMPA, Florida – Ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynecological cancer because there really are no "early detection" strategies.

Just ask Carla Jimenez.

She feels lucky every day that she's alive.  She beat stage three ovarian cancer.

"I have been very fortunate."

Now, a new study could help prevent women from getting ovarian cancer in the first place.

It all has to do with over the counter low dose aspirin.

"And that's where we found the really striking findings," said researcher Shelley Tworoger from the Moffitt Cancer Center.

Shelley Tworoger found that women who took low dose aspirin every day had a 23% lower risk of ovarian cancer compared to non-aspirin users.

"But taking regular dose aspirin, 325 milligrams, was not associated with lower risk of ovarian cancer," said Tworoger.

Her study also found that women who took ten tablets per week for many years of non steroid anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen had higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Tworoger says more research needs to be done to make an official recommendation but since many women take aspirin to prevent heart disease they could be ahead of the game.

NEW STUDY:  Co-led by Moffitt Cancer Center, a new study found taking a low-dose aspirin daily may help women lower their risk of developing ovarian cancer.   The research also discovered women who over a long period of time were heavy non-aspirin, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve or Advil had a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.  These findings helped confirm research published earlier in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute; using data pooled from 13 different studies, including more than 750,000 women.   It found that daily use of aspirin reduced ovarian cancer risk by 10%.   Further research is needed before a recommendation can be made that daily aspirin use definitely lowers ovarian cancer risk, but it is something that should be discussed with your personal physician.

"If we can sort of loop people in by talking about cardiovascular disease we might have a secondary benefit of helping prevent ovarian cancer along the way," she added

And for survivors like Carla, she's just glad to hear aspirin is now an ally.

"To have anything that could actually be preventative is really kind of revolutionary," said Carla.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.