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Acetaminophen could lower the risk of prostate cancer

A new study shows taking acetaminophen once a day may drop the risk of prostate cancer.  It’s one of few studies that looked at the connection between the popular pain killer and cancer.

The study, which appears in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers, shows the use of aspirin and other pain relievers over a long period of time may lower the threat of prostate cancer by 95%.

The study, by the American Cancer Society, examined the use of acetaminophen and prostate cancer in 78,485 men.  While more studies are needed, researchers believe it is the first step that could provide clues to this form of cancer.

“While the results of this observational study suggest that long-term regular acetaminophen use may be associated with lower prostate cancer risk, our findings require replication by other studies, and do not justify use of acetaminophen to prevent prostate cancer. Acetaminophen is considered relatively safe when used at recommended doses but unintentional acetaminophen overdose is an important cause of acute liver failure.” said Dr. Jacobs. “Still, results of this study could lead to further research on acetaminophen that might provide biological insights about the process of prostate cancer development and how this process could be slowed.”

More about prostate cancer
The latest American Cancer Society estimates for prostate cancer in the United States are for 2010:
*About 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed
*About 32,050 men will die of prostate cancer
*About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.
*Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.