Aspirin cuts cancer death risk
Taking aspirin not only can help keep colon cancer from coming back, but it also can lower the risk of dying from the disease.
Aspirin already occupies a prominent spot in many medicine cabinets. Daily use of low-dose aspirin can prevent heart attacks and strokes, as well as treat aches and pains. Previous studies have found that aspirin can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
Researchers studied aspirin use in 1,279 American men and women with colorectal cancer that had not spread to other parts of the body. They found that people who took aspirin regularly after their diagnosis were nearly 30 percent less likely to die from their cancer than those who did not take aspirin. They were also 21 percent less likely to die for any reason during the course of the study the study lasting more than two decades.
The results suggest that aspirin may influence the biology of established colorectal tumours in addition to preventing their occurrence. Aspirin most likely works by blocking the enzyme cyclooxygenase2, or COX-2 (which promotes inflammation and cell division), as many tumours make abundant COX-2.
Despite its many benefits, aspirin can cause serious side effects as well, including bleeding in the stomach. The researchers emphasise the need for further studies in carefully controlled clinical trials before the drug could be recommended for routine use by colon cancer patients.
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