Author: Martin March
People who smoke are protected from oral cancer by aspirin or ibuprofen, according to a study.
It’s already known that smoking is a strong risk factor for oral cancer. A study from the Norwegian Radium Hospital reveals that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help protect some smokers from the disease.
They looked at a group of light to moderate smokers who had taken NSAIDs over a long period. They were about 65 per cent less likely to develop oral cancer compared to smokers who did not take NSAIDs. All types of NSAID were protective, including ibuprofen, aspirin and indomethacin. However, acetaminophen, a common pain reliever which is not an NSAID, was not found to be effective. The benefit of NSAIDs was found to be greatest for those who smoked least. At higher levels of consumption of tobacco, its carcinogenic effect overcomes the benefit of the NSAID.