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Bowel Cancer: Positive Effects of Aspirin

| Date Posted: 5/18/2012 | Author: Mandy McCue

Aspirin, as we know it, has been around for over a century. It is a pill commonly used to reduce fever or pain or used as an anti-inflammatory.  It is even used as a preventive tool for several known health issues.  In fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that men ages 45-79 take aspirin to prevent heart attacks and for women ages 55-79. Aspirin is also recommended to prevent ischemic strokes.

New studies show that aspirin now could even have an impact on reducing cancer. The British Journal of Cancer published a study, by Dr. Gerrit-Jan Liefers of the Leiden University Medical Centre, showing positive effects in patients with bowel cancer specifically. He and his team looked at 4,500 bowel cancer patients; a quarter of the patients were not aspirin users, a quarter took aspirin after cancer diagnosis, and the remainder took aspirin before and after diagnosis. About the Study

The study showed that taking aspirin for any length of time after diagnosis cut the chance of dying from bowel cancer by 23%.  The patients who took aspirin daily at least nine months after their diagnosis cut their chance of dying from the disease by 30%. Taking aspirin only after the cancer had been detected had a bigger impact reducing mortality compared with when aspirin was taken before and after diagnosis- reducing death risk by 12%.

Dr. Gerrit-Jan Liefers said: “Our work adds to growing evidence that aspirin not only can prevent cancer from occurring but if it is there it can help prevent it spreading.”

There are biological reasons that aspirin might offer protection against cancer. It blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2, which promotes inflammation and cell division, and is found in high levels in tumors. (Source: Reuters-Aspirin tied to lower lung cancer risk in women: study)

Aspirin should not be seen as an alternative to other treatments such as chemotherapy, but could be useful in addition.

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital offers multiple treatment options for most types of cancer, including bowel cancer.  For more about cancer treatment options call (910) 715-3500. Call today to see what treatment works best for you.

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital has expertise providing bowel cancer treatment to the Pinehurst, Sanford, Raeford, Laurinburg, Lumberton, Troy and Rockingham regions of North Carolina.

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