Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
You’ve got questions…
We’ve got answers!
Today, we are going to address an important reader question about how certain over-the-counter pain relievers can increase your chances of dying from cancer.
Let’s get started…
I recently read that aspirin and ibuprofen can increase the risk of dying in women who have cancer. Is this true? If so, do you know if there’s a certain type of cancer these drugs affect more?
Thanks for the great question, Helen.
You’re correct. This is true for a specific type of cancer — Type 1 endometrial cancers.
Let me explain…
Researchers from the Ohio State University examined health data from over 4,000 women to better understand the link between dying from Type 1 endometrial cancer and using NSAID pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen.
After examining the records, the scientist found that taking NSAID pain relievers increased the risk of dying from Type 1 endometrial cancer by a massive 66 percent.
When they took a closer look, they found that women who took NSAIDs for more than 10 years in the past but had quit before diagnosis were at greatest risk.
Strangely, though, the use of NSAIDs did not increase the risk of death in more aggressive Type 2 cancers.
These results have baffled researchers because cancer is closely associated with inflammation. NSAIDs are considered anti-inflammatory agents and have even reduced the risk of developing or dying from some cancers, like colorectal cancer, so the link is an unexpected find.
Experts agree that further research is needed to fully understand how NSAIDs affect this type of cancer.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for an all-natural way to decrease pain, try ginger. One study shows that taking 500 mg of ginger twice a day worked about as well as taking 400 mg of ibuprofen three times a day in folks suffering from arthritis pain.
You can get ginger supplements at any natural health store or through online retailers.
Do you have health questions? Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing editor, Living Well Daily