Washington D.C. : Recently it has been discovered that aspirin use is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing bile duct cancer, also called cholangiocarcinoma.
Senior author Lewis Roberts said that their study found that individuals who took aspirin had a more than a two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half-fold lesser chance of developing bile duct cancer, compared to individuals who did not take aspirin.
Bile duct cancer is an uncommon cancer that forms in the slender tubes (bile ducts) that carry digestive fluid through the liver. The disease occurs mostly in people over 50 and can cause symptoms, such as yellowing of the skin and eyes, intense itchiness of the skin, and white stools. Bile duct cancer is an aggressive type of cancer that progresses quickly and is difficult to treat.
Dr. Roberts said that they know continuous unremitting inflammation is one of the main factors that promotes cancer of the bile ducts. Aspirin, with it’s an anti-inflammatory properties, may reduce the risk of bile duct cancer by lessening inflammation through inhibition of an enzyme called cyclo-oxygenase (COX), which is known to promote inflammation.
In addition to the COX enzyme pathway, Dr. Roberts said other studies have shown that aspirin blocks additional cell-signaling cascades that promote cancer development.
But, it is not certain that aspirin is safe to use for cancer prevention.
Dr. Roberts and his colleagues say additional confirmatory studies are needed before aspirin can be recommended for use in preventing bile duct cancer.
The study appears in the journal Hepatology.