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Daily Dose Of Aspirin Reduces Risk Of Colon Cancer

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:15 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Aspirin, Polyps, Drug Products, Colon Cancer


IMAGE SOURCE: © Wikimedia Commons / aspirin / author: Chaval Brasil

A daily dose of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help to lower the risk of developing polyps that can lead to colorectal cancer, said researchers on Tuesday.

An estimated 639,000 people worldwide die from colorectal cancer each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon [large intestine] or rectum) is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in the United States. Screening helps patients by detecting abnormal growths in the colon (polyps) before they become cancerous.

“All colon cancers likely begin as adenomas or lesions, and if not removed, can develop into colon cancer,” Bernard Cole, of the University of Vermont in Burlington, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview.

Researchers found, the group who took aspirin were 28 percent less likely to develop advanced adenomas, a type of precancerous polyp, than those given a placebo. Bernard and his team of researchers, analyzed data from four previous studies involving more than 2,500 patients and found the aspirin-takers were less likely to develop any type of adenoma.

The findings reinforce earlier resarch that have suggested regular use of aspirin could prevent polyps from developing.

“The take-home message is - if an adenoma is found during a colonoscopy - now is a good time to discuss aspirin use to prevent future adenomas with your doctor,” Cole said.

A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to see and examine the inside of the entire colon for signs of cancer or polyps.

The study is published in the February 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In May, researchers found that an aspirin a day could cut breast cancer risk by 16 percent. #

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