Though research into using aspirin to prevent cancer and heart disease has been ongoing for many years, a recently published study found that daily aspirin use may help to reduce the overall chances of mortality in colon cancer patients. The ten-year study, conducted in Holland, showed that colon cancer patients could reduce their chances of dying by as much as 33 percent by taking 80mg of aspirin every day for at least 9 months.
Though aspirin should not be used in lieu of other treatments for colon cancer, this is the first time the over-the-counter medicine has come into discussion as a potentially useful drug for complementing other cancer treatment procedures. Aspirin is by no means a treatment of cancer in and of itself.
A Few Caveats
More research is needed before experts can definitively recommend daily aspirin use to all older patients of colon cancer. The study’s results do not conclusively prove that aspirin use has any direct impact on the reduction of colorectal cancer, although they do seem promising. The study draws a correlation between those who were prescribed aspirin and those who survived, but did not factor in cause of death or the likelihood that many patients were taking aspirin to treat heart disease or stroke rather than colorectal cancer. Additional research into the subject must continue, including controlled trials that look at comparisons between participants who do and do not use aspirin in more depth.
It is also important to note that aspirin can produce a number of troubling side effects, including internal bleeding and increased chances of complications during surgery and other cancer treatments. As a result, any aspirin use should be preceded by a discussion with your gastroenterologist about the drug’s potential impacts on your health and well-being.
Keep in mind that the most important factor in preventing colorectal cancer and its recurrence is healthy living. A healthy diet, exercise and avoiding potentially hazardous lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking are the very best methods of prevention. If you have any questions about how to live healthy during or after treatment for colon cancer, contact Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.