Aspirin appears to lower colon cancer risk, study shows - - Jackson, MS

Aspirin appears to lower colon cancer risk, study shows

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In an age where we're always looking for the next best thing in medicine, a new study boosts evidence that one of the oldest drugs may be the best. Aspirin is well-known as a pain reliever and for its ability to reduce the risk for heart attacks and stroke.

Increasingly this medication, the cheapest drug on the market, is also a strong player in the fight against cancer. (sot: Nancy cook, scud - Brigham and women's hospital, Boston) "we found a reduction of colorectal cancer -- about a 20% reduction," said Dr. Nancy Cook.

She and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston conducted a randomized trial of about 40-thousand women. The reduced risk was found in those who took a 100-milligram dose of aspirin every other day for ten years.

The dosage is about the same as taking a daily baby aspirin. "It's important to consider low dose aspirin because it has side effects and the side effects increase with the dose," Dr. Cook said.

Side effects included upset stomachs and more rarely, gastrointestinal bleeding. A doctor can help navigate the risks vs benefits for each person.

Other studies have found aspirin may also reduce the chances of developing cancers of the esophagus, breast and skin, including skin cancer's deadliest form, malignant melanoma.

All of this adds to the growing body of research that aspirin may really live up to its moniker: the "Wonder Drug."

Although the news on aspirin is promising, doctors say it should not replace regular colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer.

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