Americans have been using Aspirin to treat headaches, muscle strain, and other painful issues for decades. Now, a new study shows that the painkiller may have another benefit: it could actually reduce the risk of colon cancer.
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The study, which was led by Dr. Sorein Friis of the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre, involved a review of data associated with drug use and bowel cancer investigations in northern Denmark. It found that daily 75 to 150 milligram dosages of Aspirin over a five-year period could cut the risk of colon cancer–an often fatal form of the disease–by an incredible 27 percent.
Interestingly, the research showed that other medication, including ibuprofen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduced the risk of colon cancer by 30 percent to 45 percent. (In fact, the study revealed that non-aspirin NSAIDs capable of suppressing the pro-inflammatory enzyme Cox 2 had the greatest impact on colon cancer rates.)
“Our results indicate that if aspirin is taken at doses of 75 to 150mg, long-term, continuous use is necessary to achieve a substantial protective effect against colorectal (bowel) cancer,” noted Friis, whose study was recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
“The potential use of aspirin and non-aspirin NSAIDs for the prevention of colorectal cancer is limited by the risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, and, for most non-aspirin NSAIDs, cardiovascular risks.
“These potential harms will need to be balanced against the chemopreventive benefits that our results indicate.”