Evidence from three studies published this week indicates that aspirin may dramatically reduce your risk of cancer-related mortality and cancer metastases. These studies add to the already abundant research linking aspirin use to reducing the risk of many health problems including stroke, heart disease, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease.
In the first study, which investigated the use of aspirin to prevent vascular events (strokes), daily aspirin versus no aspirin reduced the risk of non-vascular mortality by almost 15%. Aspirin use also reduced the risk of death from cancer by 18%. Furthermore, aspirin seems to reduce cancer incidence and death across different forms of cancer and many cancer sites.
While aspirin therapy does raise the risk of major bleeding, the researchers reported that these effects diminished over time.
The second study, also investigating aspirins’ potential to reduce vascular events, the researchers analyzed data from several large randomized trials. Among 17,285 trial participants, 987 of whom had a new solid cancer diagnosed during the follow-up period, aspirin use reduced the risk for cancer with distant metastasis by 36%.
Aspirin use also reduced the risk for adenocarcinoma by 46%. Among patients with adenocarcinoma who did not have metastasis at their initial diagnosis and who remained on aspirin treatment up to or after diagnosis, the use of aspirin reduced the risk for metastasis on subsequent follow-up by about 70%.
Aspirin also lowered cancer mortality rates among patients who developed adnenocarcinomas.
The third study compared the effect of aspirin on the 20-year risk for cancer-specific mortality between observational studies and randomized trials. Overall, results from observational studies were similar to randomized trials, and showed that regular aspirin use lowered the risk for several cancers and for distant metastasis.
With regard to specific cancers, the authors observed consistent reductions in risks for colorectal, esophageal, gastric, biliary, and breast cancers. The largest effects were observed for gastrointestinal cancers.
Aspirin Therapy Safety
While daily aspirin therapy may lower your risk for many health conditions, it is not without risks and may not be appropriate for everyone.
Don’t start an aspirin regimen without speaking with your doctor first. Although taking an occasional aspirin or two is safe for most adults to use for headaches, body aches or fever, daily use of aspirin can have serious side effects and can affect other medications you may be taking.
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