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Daily Aspirin May Help Prevent Colon Cancer for Those at High Risk
Date:10/28/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Two aspirin a day may cut the risk of colon cancer by more than half in people who are predisposed to these types of tumors, new research suggests.

And two tablets of 300 milligrams each also cut the risk of other tumors related to Lynch syndrome, a major form of hereditary colon and other cancers, according to research published in the Oct. 28 online edition of The Lancet.

People with Lynch syndrome should talk to their doctors about taking daily aspirin, keeping in mind that aspirin does have side effects, including stomach ulcers, said the study authors.

Previous research has found that otherwise healthy people who take about 75 milligrams (mg) of aspirin a day reduced not only their risk of developing colon cancer but also their chances of dying from it.

But the one in 1,000 people who have Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (or HNPCC), have a much higher risk of cancer than the general population: About half of people with these genetic abnormalities will go on to develop cancer in their 30s or 40s.

Earlier data from this trial showed no reduction in colon cancer among regular aspirin takers but that phase of the study only followed people for two years.

This part of the study, which was funded by a consortium of cancer organizations and Bayer Corporation, followed 861 carriers of Lynch syndrome for about four years.

The participants were randomly chosen to take either 600 mg of aspirin (427 patients) in two tablets daily or a placebo (434 patients) for at least two years.

Participants were also randomly selected to receive a resistant starch, thought to protect against colorectal cancer, or a placebo. "There's evidence that people on high-carbohydrate diets have a lower incidence of colon cancer," said study lead author Dr. John Burn, professor of cli
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