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4/17/11

Aspirin and Aspirin Related Medication NSAID May Reduce Risk of Colon and Rectal Cancer

Aspirin and Aspirin Related Medication NSAID May Reduce Risk of Colon and Rectal Cancer

What the Heck are NSAIDs Anyway?

It's not a done deal but aspirin and aspirin related medication called non steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs have been targeted repeatedly for the potential to lower some kinds of cancer especially cancer of the large intestine(colon and rectum).

Several reports have alluded to cancer reduction by aspirin.




NSAIDs are non steroidal anti inflammation drugs versus corticosteroids which are medications which are also anti inflammatory but obviously are steroids. The studies we are discussing were of NON steroidal meds such as aspirin. Other NSAIDs include medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. The putative protective effect of aspirin against some heart attacks is probably better documented than the cancer effect which is much more up in the air.

And of course like everything in the world of medicine there are also bad effects of aspirin and NSAIDs such as gastrointestinal bleeding and asthma exacerbation.




The latest evidence pointing in that direction comes from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, the authors of the study with the zippy title, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Colorectal Cancer Risk in a Large, Prospective Cohort conclude that "NSAID use was associated with a reduced colorectal cancer risk; the magnitude of this association differed between aspirin and non-aspirin NSAIDs. Daily aspirin and non-aspirin NSAID use by individuals with a family history of colon cancer significantly reduced the risk of rectal and colon cancer, respectively". Several reports have alluded to cancer reduction by aspirin such as a previous study by Harvard scientists. "Regular, long-term aspirin use reduces risk of colorectal (colon and rectum large intestine) cancer among men. However, the benefit of aspirin necessitates at least 6 years of consistent use. The potential hazards associated with long-term use of such doses of aspirin should be considered". The "results provide additional proof that a simple drug like aspirin can help prevent colon cancer,” said Dr. Andrew T. Chan, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard. Still, he said, “I wouldn’t recommend it to all patients, because of the side effects,” which can range from upset stomach to gastrointestinal bleeding".

  • Aspirin Dose and Duration of Use and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Men
  • Aspirin Prevents Bowel Cancer. Similarly a previous Oxford University study said taking a dose of aspirin of 300mg a day for five years offered protection against colorectal cancer. "Long-term aspirin use is generally not backed because of the risk of stomach problems,(the main problem with chronic aspirin use is internal bleeding) but the team said it could benefit those at high-risk of cancer. Problems with aspirin use include stomach bleeding and ulcers, worsening asthma in some, as well as allergy. The Harvard study of aspirin found that "After adjusting for age, smoking, diet, physical activity and other risk factors, they found that men who took more than two standard 325 mg aspirins a week reduced their risk for colon cancer by about 21 percent compared with those who took less. Men who took 6 to 14 a week reduced their risk by 28 percent, and those who took more than 14 pills a week had a 70 percent decreased risk.The longer the men took aspirin, the more they reduced risk, but taking it for less than five years, or taking the equivalent of less than one and a half pills a week, conferred no advantage".