Navigation Links
Daily Aspirin May Cut Cancer Deaths, Another Study Finds

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- People who take a low-dose aspirin daily may not only be helping their hearts, but also reducing their odds of dying from cancer, according to American Cancer Society researchers.

The lower risk of dying from cancer associated with aspirin, however, may not be as great as previously thought, say the authors of the large new study.

And aspirin's possible side effects -- notably the higher risk of bleeding episodes -- need to be taken into account when considering its use, they added.

"Expert committees that develop clinical guidelines will consider the totality of evidence about aspirin's risks and benefits when guidelines for aspirin use are next updated," said lead researcher Eric Jacobs, the society's strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology.

Jacobs said, until there are new guidelines, he doesn't recommend taking aspirin for cancer prevention.

"Although recent evidence about aspirin use and cancer is encouraging, it is still premature to recommend people start taking aspirin specifically to prevent cancer," he said.

Even low-dose aspirin can substantially increase the risk of serious gastrointestinal bleeding, Jacobs pointed out.

"Decisions about aspirin use should be made by balancing the risks against the benefits in the context of each individual's medical history. Any decision about daily aspirin use should be made only in consultation with a health care professional," he added.

The study was published in the Aug. 10 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To look at the potential effect of daily aspirin use on cancer deaths, Jacobs' team used data from the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, part of a larger long-term study on the effects of lifestyle factors on mortality.

This study included more than 100,000 men and women without a history of cancer, some of whom were taking aspirin daily.

Of the study participants, 5,138 eventually died from cancer.

Aspirin use was associated with an up to 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, which, however, was less than seen in another recent study, the researchers noted. In that analysis of randomized trials (where people were randomly assigned to either take aspirin or not take aspirin), aspirin use reduced cancer deaths by 37 percent during five years of follow-up and 15 percent during 10 years of follow-up, the authors noted in the report.

Nevertheless, "even a relatively modest benefit with respect to overall cancer mortality could still meaningfully influence the balances of risk and benefits of prophylactic [preventative] aspirin use," Jacobs' team concluded.

A limitation of the study is that it was an observational study, not a randomized trial. This could mean that the reduction in cancer deaths tied to aspirin use may be over- or under-estimated, the researchers noted.

Dr. John Baron, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, who authored an accompanying journal editorial, said, "It's a remarkable idea that something that's in medicine cabinets around the world, and has been around for more than a century, can prevent cancer."

However, Baron is not recommending that people start taking aspirin to cut their odds for malignancy.

Why it works against cancer isn't known, Baron said, and he noted that the effect of aspirin is seen over time. For example, aspirin might start preventing colon cancer after a person had taken it for about 10 years.

During that time, however, that person might have gastrointestinal or brain bleeding caused by aspirin. So those risks and benefits need to be balanced, he noted.

The question is no longer whether aspirin prevents cancer, according to Baron, but rather whether the risks associated with aspirin are overshadowed by its benefits, he suggested. "But even the most pessimistic study shows a meaningful reduction," he added.

But while the new study found an association between aspirin use and reduced cancer risk, because it is not a randomized, controlled trial -- the "gold standard" for research -- it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

To learn more about aspirin and cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Eric J. Jacobs, Ph.D., strategic director, pharmacoepidemiology, American Cancer Society; John A. Baron, M.D., professor of medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine; Aug. 10, 2012, Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Daily aspirin usage associated with lower cancer mortality
2. Study adds to evidence daily aspirin linked to lower cancer mortality
3. Intuitive Number Sense Makes Daily Life Easier
4. Some Diabetics May Not Benefit From Daily Aspirin
5. Daily Coffee May Help Keep Grim Reaper Away
6. How the brains daily clock controls mood: A new project
7. U.S. Children Exposed to Hours of Background TV Daily
8. Women Less Apt Than Men to Get Recommended Daily Exercise
9. Aspirin protects against Barretts esophagus
10. Aspirin as Effective as Warfarin for Heart Failure: Study
11. Report says new evidence could tip the balance in aspirin cancer prevention care
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Daily Aspirin May Cut Cancer Deaths, Another Study Finds
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, ... Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. ... skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on E ... goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not ... as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research and ... Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... for Companion Diagnostics The World Market for ... personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the ... Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... today announced the appointment of Dr. Edward ... as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. ... Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a ... will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: