Can Aspirin Prevent Cancer in Elderly Women?


October 13, 2016


Vaughan L.E., Et. al., September 2016: Aspirin use and the incidence of breast, colon, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers in elderly women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study.




Iowa vector map. Grunge rubber stamp with the name and map of Iowa, vector illustration., Copyright DoozyDo, ShutterstockLittle research has evaluated the chemopreventive effect of aspirin on cancer risk in elderly women. In this study, researchers examined associations between aspirin use and incidence of colon, pancreatic, breast, and ovarian cancers in women over 70 years of age.

Aspirin frequency, dose, and duration were self-reported in the 2004 Iowa Women’s Health Study, with the subjects followed-up to 2011.

This information was compared to cancer cases recorded in the Iowa State Health Registry.

Compared with nonuse of aspirin, study ratios for the incidence of aspirin-sensitive cancers were 0.87 for regular to high doses of aspirin, 0.95 for aspirin use 6+ times per week, and 0.93 for aspirin use for 10+ years. For cumulative aspirin use, the study also showed a positive effect of aspirin versus nonuse, with a significant inverse association observed between lifetime aspirin dose and cancer mortality.

In conclusion, these findings suggest that aspirin use may be beneficial in preventing breast, colon, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer in elderly women.