For light to medium smokers, daily intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) may reduce the risk of having oral cancer.
Norwegian scientists, who had conducted the studies, had said that people who took NSAIDs for extended time period have 65% less chance of having oral cancer than others, when both the groups are moderate smokers of tobacco. The study suggested that NSAID might have anti carcinogenic effect on smokers who smoked for 30 or less pack-years.
A pack-year is smoking for one year at a cigarette pack a day. Smokers smoking for 30 pack-years may be all those who have smoked a pack a day for 30 years, or two pack a day for fifteen years, or three packs a day for ten years.
The study was conducted by taking people from both Norway and US. Of the 908 participants of the study, about half of them was diagnosed having squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, a sign of oral cancer.
The NSAIDs used for the study were aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxene, indomethacine, piroxicame, and ketoprofene. All of them were effective in reducing the risk of oral cancer. There was no significant association between acetaminophen or paracetamol, a non-aspirin pain relief medication and risk of oral cancer.