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Study Shows Aspirin May Reduce Cancer Death Risk

Updated on August 31, 2012

Low-Dose Aspirin Linked to Reduced Cancer Death Risk

Researchers from the London-based London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine released information December 7, 2010 that they say is exciting news. Low-dose aspirin, 75 mg, the dosage of European baby aspirin, may be all it takes for individuals to lower their risk of cancer death from cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, stomach, lung, colon and perhaps even the brain. 

As reported by United Press International, the study was begun by Peter Rothwell of Oxford University. An overview of several randomized studies that concentrated on the use of aspirin to reduce heart attacks was performed by Rothwell and his research team to determine rates of death from cancer in the study participants.

The overview study results were published in the online edition of the British medical journal, "The Lancet." Researchers reported their interpretations of the analyzed data to say that daily aspirin use "reduced deaths due to several common cancers." Aspirin's benefits in cancer death reduction increased with duration of treatment.

The research team overviewed eight separate study trials that included more than 25,000 participants, reports MSN News Canada. The reduction of cancer deaths in study participants who took daily aspirin is estimated to be 20 percent.


Analyzing the Impact of Study Results

While the implications of the British study are tantalizing, health experts are warning that not everyone should begin taking aspirin. The medication comes with risks of its own including bleeding in the stomach and thinning of the blood. Consult your health care provider before beginning an aspirin regimen.

Health experts point to the fact that only one-third of trials participants studied were women, meaning calculations for breast cancer deaths could not be assessed. Researchers used national cancer registries to obtain information about study participants, but there was no way of knowing whether those participants continued their aspirin regimens after the studies were completed.

Eric Jacobs, epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, voiced optimism about these study results, coupled with other studies already done on aspirin and cancer death risk. John Spinelli of the British Columbia Cancer Agency was more cautious in his optimism, stating more research needs to be completed before health care providers begin suggesting low-dose aspirin regimens to their patients to reduce cancer risks.

Aspirin and Reduced Cancer Risks Comments

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      conradofontanilla 5 years ago

      Barry Sears, Ph.D. wrote in his book, The Zone, that aspirin reduces cancer by 40 percent in 1995. Aspirin blocks the enzyme cyclooxygenase that acts on arachidonic acid and produces prostaglandins and superoxide that causes cancer and heart disease. Long term blockage results in accumulation of arachidonic acid that converts to leukotriene, a mediator of allergy. That is why long term use of aspirin results in allergy to any drug. Voted useful and interesting.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Dinkan53, thanks for the vote and comment. I am one of those people who take daily aspirin and yes, it is pleasing to realize the medication may be beneficial to my health in more than one way.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 7 years ago from India

      This news will give some sort of relief to Heart patients who are regularly taking aspirin. my thumbs go up and useful.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Thank you, RNMSN. Coming from a health professional such as yourself, I consider this high praise.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      very well written article!!voted up and useful!!