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Paracetamol may reduce ovarian cancer risk July 28, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.

A team of scientists from Athens University says regular use of Paracetamol could reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. The cancer risk dropped by 30%, after the team analyzed eight previous studies into the impact of the painkiller, in more than 746,000 women.

“Strategies that focus on prevention may therefore provide the most rational approach for reducing deaths from this form of cancer,” Dr Stefanos Bonovas, the lead researcher of the study tells the BBC. “Because Paracetamol is so widely used, a link with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer could have important public health implications.”

The study admitted that long-term use of the painkiller could also lead to an increase risk of liver and kidney failure. The team warned that they did not suggest that women start taking Paracetamol to guard against the disease.

Bonovas says, “The risks of long-term Paracetamol use – including liver and chronic kidney failure – may outweigh the potential benefits of preventing ovarian cancer in low-risk cases.”

He adds, “But we do feel that our study highlights the need for further research into this highly important link between a simple over-the-counter medicine and a very aggressive form of cancer.”

The researchers analyzed previous studies covering Paracetamol and ovarian cancer from 1966 to 2004 in the UK, US and Denmark. Of the 746,000 women analyzed, some 4,405 had ovarian cancer.

The team found that regular use of the painkiller differed from study to study, but was most commonly referred to as at least 30 tablets a month. The study, which failed to explain how Paracetamol reduced the risk of the cancer, showed that the painkiller did reduce the risk.

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