Every Other Day Aspirin Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk



A large new prospective study finds that every-other-day low-dose aspirin significantly reduces colorectal cancer risk.


 

EVERY OTHER DAY ASPIRIN REDUCES COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, aspirin has been shown, by numerous studies, to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.  However, daily aspirin use is not without its risks, including GI tract ulceration and bleeding.  Now, a newly published study suggests that low-dose aspirin, when taken every other day, may still significantly reduce colorectal cancer risk.  This new study appears in the current issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

This study is part of the prospective Women’s Health Study, and included 33,682 adult female health professionals who volunteered to participate in this large and ongoing prospective randomized clinical trial.  Study participants were secretly randomized to receive either 100 mg of aspirin every other day or an identical-appearing placebo pill in this double-blinded placebo-controlled trial.  Follow-up in this very large prospective study averaged nearly 10 years.

During the decade-long course of this clinical study, 5,071 participants were diagnosed with cancer, and 1,391 of the study volunteers died of cancer.

The use of every-other-day aspirin had no apparent impact on the risk of cancers of the breast or lung.  However, every-other-day low-dose aspirin use was associated with a rather dramatic 42 percent reduction in colorectal cancer risk among the women who were followed for the longest duration in this study.

This high-powered prospective, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial adds to an already large body of evidence showing that the daily use of low-dose aspirin can significantly reduce colorectal cancer use.  In the case of this study, however, taking low-dose aspirin every other day still yielded a very impressive reduction in colorectal cancer risk.  At the same time, even every-other-day dosing of aspirin was still associated with a measurable increase in the risk of aspirin’s known side effects, including a 14 percent increase in the risk of GI tract bleeding and a 17 percent increase in the risk of GI tract ulcers.

The findings of this important prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial suggest that low-dose aspirin does not have to be taken every single day to provide significant colorectal prevention benefits.  However, in view of the aspirin-associated GI tract side effects noted in this study, even with every-other-day use, it is important that you consult your personal physician before you start taking aspirin.

For more information on this and other evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, obtain your copy of A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.

 

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Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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Aspirin May Prevent Pancreatic Cancer

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

ASPIRIN MAY PREVENT PANCREATIC CANCER

Pancreatic cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer (fewer than two percent of adults in the United States will ever be diagnosed with this form of cancer). However, although rare, pancreatic cancer is an extremely lethal type of cancer, with an average 5-year survival rate of only 5 to 8 percent, overall. Therefore, as I discuss extensively in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, any cancer prevention strategy that even modestly decreases the risk of this terrible form of cancer should be carefully considered.

Aspirin belongs to a class of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Aspirin, like other NSAIDs, blocks a key enzyme that leads to inflammation in our bodies. This enzyme, cyclooxygenase, is also known to play an important role in the development of several types of cancer, and so aspirin, and other NSAIDs, have been extensively studied as potential cancer prevention drugs.

A new pancreatic cancer prevention study from the prestigious Mayo Clinic appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research. In this clinical study, 904 patients with known pancreatic cancer were compared with 1,224 healthy “control” patients with the same age and sex distribution as the group of patients with pancreatic cancer. The frequency and dose of aspirin intake was then evaluated for both groups of patients.

In this clinical research study, the use of aspirin one or more days per month was associated with 26 percent decrease in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Among patients who took low-dose aspirin each day to prevent heart disease, the protective effect against pancreatic cancer appeared to be even greater, with an observed 33 percent decrease in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer in this sub-group of patients.

While a randomized, placebo-controlled, prospective clinical research trial will be necessary to confirm the encouraging findings of this clinical research study, the findings of this “case control” study are, nonetheless, very compelling. Moreover, the findings of this retrospective study are very similar to the findings of both retrospective and prospective clinical research studies that have previously identified a similar reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer with aspirin and other NSAIDs.

As aspirin can cause significant adverse health effects, including GI tract ulcers, GI tract bleeding, and kidney damage, aspirin therapy should only started with the approval of your physician.

 

For my previous columns on aspirin as a cancer prevention drug, please click the following links:

Low Dose Aspirin Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

Aspirin & Breast Cancer Survival

Aspirin & Colorectal Cancer Prevention; Fish Oil & Respiratory Infections in Children

 


For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author

 



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