According to the results of a study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) does not appear to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world, and researchers continue to explore new approaches to prevention and early detection.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are used to reduce inflammation and pain; they include drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Studies have suggested that NSAIDS may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer, but results for lung cancer have been mixed.

To further explore the relationship between NSAID use and risk of lung cancer, researchers evaluated information from Tennessee Medicaid enrollees. The study was restricted to individuals who were at least 45 years of age and who had been enrolled in Tennessee’s Medicaid program for at least five years.

Information about lung cancer diagnoses and NSAID prescriptions was collected from Medicaid databases. The study collected information about 3,370 individuals with lung cancer and a comparison group of 33,680 individuals without lung cancer.

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Results of the study indicated that there was no link between any measure of NSAID use and risk of lung cancer. This lack of an association was observed both in the overall study population as well as in the subpopulation of individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The researchers conclude that NSAID use does not appear to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.

Reference: Wall RJ, Shyr Y, Smalley W. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs and lung cancer risk: a population-based case control study. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2007;2:109-114.

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