Sometimes the simplest of products offers the best potential benefits. We often think of aspirin in terms of cardiac prevention but the following article looks at aspirin in terms of risk reduction for cancer and makes a strong case.
By Kelly Young
Edited by Susan Sadoughi and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM
Using daily low-dose aspirin for a minimum of 5 years appears to have more benefits than harms in terms of cancer prevention, according to a review in the Annals of Oncology.
The review found reduced cancer incidence and mortality doses between 75 and 325 mg per day, starting between ages 50 and 65, with longer duration use appearing to confer the greatest benefits. Men and women at average risk who took aspirin for a decade could expect relative reductions of 9% and 7%, respectively, in the rate of cancer, myocardial infarction or stroke over 15 years.
The researchers found substantial benefit in terms of colorectal, esophageal and gastric cancer incidence and mortality. Reductions in breast, lung, and prostate cancers were more modest.
As expected, aspirin use was associated with increased risk for bleeding events, but the cancer-prevention benefits outweighed this risk.