An aspirin a day proven to keep colon cancer away
Aspirin could be good prevention for colon cancer, but speak with your doctor, suggest scientists.
Researchers from Queen's University, Belfast have proven taking an aspirin a day cuts the chances of hereditary colon cancer by 50 percent. The study focused on people who are at high risk for bowel cancer from a genetic disorder known as Lynch syndrome.
According to the researchers, 10 percent of colon and uterine cancers are thought to be hereditary.
In their study that included almost 1000 patients from 43 in 16 countries, aspirin was able to reduce colon cancer in half for people at high risk.
Professor Patrick Morrison from Queen's University in Belfast said, “The results of this study, which has been ongoing for over a decade, proves that the regular intake of aspirin over a prolonged period halves the risk of developing hereditary cancers.
The effects of aspirin in the first five years of the study were not clear but in those who took aspirin for between five and ten years the results were very clear."
Lynch syndrome is thought to cause 3 out of every 100 cases of bowel cancer, and at an earlier age than the general population. Cancer of the colon often strikes people with the genetic disorder before age 45. The condition is the result of gene mutation.
The researchers don’t say why aspirin is so effective for cutting colon cancer risk, but inflammation has been linked to several forms of cancer. Aspirin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is also why it reduces the chances of heart attack.
An October 2010 study, published in the Lancet, also suggested found dose aspirin can lower the chances of colon cancer by 24 percent in a study that followed 14,000 people who had received aspirin (75 mg) or placebo for an average of six years.
The previous study was led by Professor Peter Rothwell, a professor of neurology at John Radcliffe Hospital and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Aspirin blocks the effect of cyclo-oxygenase, an enzyme that can lead to inflammation and cancer, but is inhibited by aspirin.
In the current study, people who took aspirin still developed polyps in the color, which are precursors to bowel cancers. The group studied who didn’t take aspirin actually developed colon cancer.
Thirty percent of people not taking aspirin developed cancer, compared to 15 percent of people who took the medication.
The researchers said aspirin might promote self-destruction of cells before they become cancerous. Aspirin can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding, note the researchers.
Before taking aspirin, speak with your health care provider. Aspirin can cause ulcers and bleeding and can interact with other medications that thin the blood.
The researchers are planning another clinical trial to establish the most effective dose for preventing colon cancer, proven in the current study to reduce the chances of developing cancer of the bowel by 50 percent in people at high risk for the disease from Lynch syndrome.