It should be pointed out this is a study of 22,507 postmenopausal women in the Iowa Women's Health Study who were followed for up to 12 years.
"The regular use of aspirin, but not other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer-related death, particularly among former smokers and those who never smoked.
NSAIDs include commonly used analgesic drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, that are usually available over-the-counter.
'Our ... study ... looked at the association between aspirin and non-aspirin use, and overall cancer incidence and mortality, in a comprehensive fashion, and also evaluated the results by smoking status,' the lead researcher said.
Regular aspirin use, compared with no aspirin use, was associated with a 16-percent lower risk of cancer and a 13-percent lower risk of cancer death, the team reported.
The inverse association between aspirin use and the risk of cancer and cancer-related death was strongest among former smokers and those who never smoked compared with current smokers, although this fell short of statistical significance.
Aspirin use also appeared to protect patients against coronary heart disease and the overall mortality rate.
NSAID use, on the other hand, was not associated with cancer incidence or death, heart-disease death, or mortality from any cause. ...