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Conquer Cancer Health News

Acetaminophen studied for preventing colon cancer


Studies in animals showed that acetaminophen, the medicine in Tylenol and some other pain relievers, may play a role in preventing biological changes that can lead to colon cancer, a U.S. researcher said on Monday.

Dr. Gary Williams, professor of pathology at New York Medical College, said his studies showed that even low levels of acetaminophen given to rats showed "a powerful protective effect" in colon cells that were exposed to a cancer-causing agent. In one group of rats treated with acetaminophen, the cellular changes that are common precursors to colon cancer were eliminated or reduced by half, he said.

Williams said more research was needed to determine whether the findings applied to humans. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The study was funded in part by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a unit of healthcare products company Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Tylenol.

The company cautioned that consumers should not change their Tylenol use based on the preliminary findings.

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