A recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, led by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Cancer, has uncovered a potential connection between long-term baby aspirin (low-dose) use—15 times per month—and lower death rates in individuals with colorectal cancer. Studies conducted by other institutions have previously found that low-dose aspirin can reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer; however, Cedars-Sinai Cancer’s study showed the use of baby aspirin before the diagnosis of non-metastatic colorectal cancer was associated with a lower rate of metastasis (tumor spread).
Key evidence from the study was the use of baby aspirin before diagnosis and showed no correlation between starting a regimen after diagnosis and a decreased risk of death. The study also included nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen, all of which failed to show similar benefits.
The observational study was conducted on a group of more than 2,500 individuals, all of whom were a part of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study, from December 1992 through December 2016. All participants of the study shared information about their aspirin and NSAID use, and results were conclusive in showing the possible effects of baby aspirin in reducing the risk of death associated with colorectal cancer.
“More evidence is needed, but this association between baby aspirin and lower death rates is highly significant,”
Of the individuals involved with the study, those who reported regularly using aspirin had better outcomes than those who did not use aspirin; however, the results were not substantial enough to call them ‘significant’.
Jane C. Figueiredo, Ph.D., epidemiologist and lead author of the study stated in regards to the findings, “More evidence is needed, but this association between baby aspirin and lower death rates is highly significant,” and concluded that, “These findings may provide an inexpensive lifestyle option to people seeking to prevent colorectal cancer or to improve their prognoses if they are diagnosed.”
As with any prolonged or regular use of over-the-counter medications, baby aspirin can cause potential health conditions such as allergic reactions and internal bleeding. It’s always important to contact and speak with a doctor before starting any kind of drug regimen. For those who have a family history, or may be at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, speak with a doctor about possible diagnostic procedures or therapies.
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