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Low-Dose Aspirin Lowers Risk of Colon Cancer

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Aspirin might be the cheapest way to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Researchers have known for a long time that low-dose aspirin can lower the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Now there is evidence that low-dose aspirin can also cut the chance of developing colon cancer by about one fourth. The investigators lumped together four big studies involving roughly 14,000 people. Half were taking low-dose aspirin for its cardiovascular benefits. The other half were on placebo. Those taking aspirin were 35 percent less likely to die of colon cancer over two decades.

This isn't the first time aspirin use has been linked to a lower likelihood of developing colo-rectal cancer. As exciting as these data may be, there are risks associated with regular aspirin use. There is a possibility of bleeding ulcers, which can be life threatening, and aspirin can interact with other drugs. That's why long-term aspirin therapy requires medical supervision.

[The Lancet, online October 22, 2010]

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2 Comments

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Can one take a regular aspirin and cut in half to get the low dose??

The comments about aspirin reducing the risk of certain cancers come at the same time as another health site published an article on the risks of taking aspirin on a regular basis. Six years ago, I was treated for breast cancer. While undergoing radiotherapy, a front-page article in the International Herald Tribune appeared about a finding indicating that regular intake of aspirin reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

I discussed this with the head of the radio-oncology department, who dismissed it because it was a chance finding, not a controlled study. I've been taking a baby aspirin regularly since and all is fine. Doctors will never tell you this, because aspirin is not an expensive medication, not an income-generator for the pharmaceutical companies like cancer drugs. Since 2004, I have read a number of articles regarding scientific studies which say that aspirin can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

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