Can an Aspirin a Day Keep Cancer Away?

Can an Aspirin a Day Keep Cancer Away?

 

We’ve all heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  But have you ever heard “An aspirin a day can keep cancer away”?

While I was waiting in the check out line at the grocery store, I started thumbing through a few magazines. (It was a really long line.)  In the May, 2011 edition of Family Circle, I see in big black bold letters… CANCER FIGHTER.  Needless to say, this got my attention.  The article then proceeds to say….

An aspirin a day may keep cancer away.  In a recent study, participants who took 75mg daily (slightly less than the amount found in a baby aspirin, which is often recommended to boost heart health) for at least 5 years reduced their risk of colorectal cancer by 40%, lung cancer by 30% & esophageal cancer by 60%.  But an aspirin regimen isn’t for everyone- it could cause stomach ulcers, internal bleeding or other conditions- so discuss the options with your doctor.

Could this be true?!?!  Could it be this simple?  If so, what a novel approach to preventing certain types of cancer.  So I started searching the Internet for more information.

 

Here’s what I’ve learned…  The National Cancer Institute posted an article on their website dated 3/30/11 “Can Aspirin Reduce Cancer Risk & Mortality?”  There are in fact several highly regarded studies suggesting that aspirin can prevent & possibly reduce the risk of dying from certain cancers. And there is mounting evidence indicating that daily aspirin intake along with appropriate screening could be highly effective in preventing colon cancer.

 

However, there are potential risks to taking a daily dose of aspirin including but not limited to serious gastrointestinal bleeding.  Proceed with caution. More studies need to be done.  The decision to use aspirin daily should be made only in consultation with your doctors.  But if colorectal cancer (btw, I did not see in my limited research any stats on lung & esophageal cancer stats with aspirin) runs in your family, it might be worth having the conversation with your doctor. Just a thought…

 

(Sources:  American Cancer Society; National Cancer Institute; FOX News; Family Circle May 2011)

 



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