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Aspirin may protect against pancreatic cancer, researchers say

April 04, 2011|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
(Tim Boyle / Getty Images )

Taking aspirin regularly can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke -- and now, we may be able to add pancreatic cancer to the list, researchers say.

A study, presented at the American Assn. for Cancer Research meeting in Orlando, Fla., looked at 904 patients with pancreatic cancer and 1,224 cancer-free patients — all of whom were at least 55 years old. They found that people who took aspirin at least once a month were 26% less at risk of developing pancreatic cancer, and that those who took low doses of aspirin regularly to combat heart disease had a 35% lower risk of pancreatic cancer.

The patients were also asked about their use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen as well -- but neither seemed associated with a lower pancreatic cancer risk.

It’s far too early to start using aspirin to defend against pancreatic cancer, however -- the researchers say the relationship needs far more study is needed.

Wondering about aspirin's potential benefits? The Mayo Clinic breaks it down.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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