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Regular, long-term aspirin use reduces risk of colorectal cancer
Date:1/22/2008

Bethesda, MD (Jan. 18, 2008) The use of regular, long-term aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk associated with colorectal cancer, according to a study published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. However, the use of aspirin for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer may require using the drug at doses that are higher than recommended over a long period of time, which may cause serious side effects including gastrointestinal bleeding.

While the results of our study show that aspirin should not currently be recommended for the chemoprevention of colorectal cancer in a healthy population, there is a need for further studies to help identify for which patients the potential benefits outweigh the risks, according to Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of the study. We also need to improve our understanding of how aspirin works to prevent and inhibit the formation of colorectal cancer.

Study participants were enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a large prospective cohort study which has provided detailed and updated information on aspirin use.

Researchers found that men who used aspirin regularly experienced a significantly lower risk of colorectal cancer, including distal colon cancer, proximal colon cancer and rectal cancer, even after controlling for other risk factors. The reduction in risk was seen in both early (stage I/II) and advanced (stage III/IV) colorectal cancers. There were 975 documented cases of colorectal cancer over 761,757 person-years, among the 47,636 eligible men. Participants who reported regular aspirin use, equal to or more than twice a week, were older, more likely to have smoked, used multivitamins and folate, and consumed slightly more alcohol.

In an average-risk population of men, results showed that the benefit of aspirin was not a
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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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