Aspirin Colon Cancer
October 28, 2011 by staff
Previous studies have suggested that aspirin may protect against colorectal cancer and others. Study on Friday in the journal The Lancet is the best designed so far to test the hypothesis.
International researchers followed 861 people with a known genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer for up to 10 years.
The participants had Lynch syndrome, a condition which represents about three percent to five percent of colon cancers. About one in 1,000 people with the syndrome.
In the randomized control trial, people were assigned to take 600 milligrams of aspirin a day – about two regular strength aspirin – or dummy pills of starch.
The protective effect began to be five years after patients began taking aspirin.
“If you took two aspirin a day for two years to people with bowel cancer five years after their cancer risk would be reduced by more than half,” said John Burn, professor of clinical genetics at the University of Newcastle in England .
Important finding that will change the way doctors treat people with a genetic predisposition, said Dr. Des Leddin, a gastroenterologist at Capital Health in Halifax.
“I think this is pretty convincing proof that we will be dealing with aspirin,” said Leddin. “But on an individual basis, always weigh the risks and benefits.”
The risks of taking daily aspirin include stomach bleeding or stroke, even so Leddin advises people to talk with their doctors.
Leddin and other experts warned that the evidence does not show that everyone should take aspirin to prevent colorectal cancer. Research to test the idea that it is permanent.
“We are not prepared to say that aspirin is useful for the general public,” said Asad Omar, an expert in cancer prevention in the U.S. National Cancer Institute, which was unrelated to the study. “There are still plenty of problems of toxicity.”
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