Should I Start Taking A Low-Dose Aspirin Regimen?
For centuries man has used tree bark and plants to make medicines and remedies. Hippocrates, the Greek philosopher and "Father of Western Medicine", found that the bark and leaves of the willow tree could be used to make a powder that would relieve headache, pain and fever. From then, around 380 B.C., scientists, doctors, and others tried for years to make a dependable pain and fever relief aid to help the sick and ailing.
Although it was made by previous chemists, Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, was first made marketable by Bayer AG in Germany in 1897 and was soon marketed around the world in 1899. Since then, many people have used Aspirin for pain, aches, arthritis, fever and more. Although there are some contraindications for aspirin use, it is widely accepted for many different uses.
In the late 20th century, doctors began recommending aspirin for other, preventative, reasons. People now are given aspirin during a heart attack, after surgery, to prevent heart attack, and possibly to prevent cancer. Is a daily aspirin regimen right for you or one of your loved ones?
New Research Brings Hope For Fight With Cancer
There is currently a great deal of excitement in medical circles about new possibilities of gaining the upper hand against cancer. Apparently, a group of British medical researchers, after studying over 25,000 patients with a history of taking low dose aspirin, have found a possible correlation between long term treatment of low dose aspirin and lower death rates from multiple types of cancer. Could it be that aspirin prevents cancer?
This is definitely promising, and though many questions arise, the fact that the study included such a broad field and a was over a long time span could be the aspect that underscores the research findings. This research was done on participants who had been on an aspirin regimen for at least 4 years.
Although the research was good and the news is great, you still should consult your physician before begining an aspirin regemin for various different reasons.
Why Should I Not Begin Taking Low Dose Aspirin?
The rush by many to simply say, "I'm taking low dose aspirin starting today!" should be tempered by some calm advice. As always, never begin taking any medication regimen without the advise of your personal physician! Due to the possibility that you may have issues with anemia, GI bleeds, allergies, or current prescriptions for blood thinners, medical advice is always needed to begin taking aspirin daily.
Another reason not to rush to the store and buy a large bottle of low dose aspirin is that more time is needed. As with any medical research, when a correlation is found, the exact cause of that correlation must be found and confirmed before broad scale change in medical direction could be even a possibility. Too often people hear of this study or that research and assume that it is conclusive. Just as it takes years to develop new medications, many trials and refocused studies will have to be done before doctors will be able to place people on aspirin solely to lessen the risk of cancer.
Should you decide to ask your primary care physician about beginning a low dose aspirin regimen, be sure to go over the list of medications you are already on and confirm that the aspirin will not bring complications with your current medical conditions. Also remember to take enteric coated, low dose aspirin, which will be more gentle on your stomach.
Aspirin Regimen For Those With High Risk Of Heart Attack
Whether you feel a daily aspirin regimen to avoid cancer is a good idea or not, many people today do take a daily low dose aspirin to help avoid dangerous heart attack causing atherosclerotic clots. Due to aspirin's anti-platelet properties, many cardiologists will prescribe a daily low dose aspirin regimen to their high risk cardiac patients.
A low level of aspirin in the body inhibits platelet aggregation which is often what makes a small clot or a atherosclerotic area in the artery larger causing a serious heart attack. Although a person may take a low dose aspirin regimen, emergency personnel will still give the patient a full dose of aspirin when heart attack is suspected due to the need for a higher level of inhibition of platelet aggregation after the initial clot is found by the body.
Although a low dose regimen may not be acceptable for those who have any level of aspirin allergy, most people do well with it and studies have shown a lower probability another heart attack or better outcomes of heart attack for those who take the aspirin. As with any medication, you should consult with your physician before taking a daily aspirin.
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