Updated 08:26 PM EDT, Mon, Sep 21, 2020

Aspirin a Prevention for Colorectal Cancer? Daily Dose Linked to Lower Risk

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No cure for cancer has been developed yet, but in a new medical development, it seems that there's a way to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 45% - and the preventive drug is not as rare as you might think.

In fact, you may have it in your medicine cabinet right now.

A new study published by Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who took Aspirin every day for at least five years are 27% less likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than those who didn't, while other types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk even more.

The Los Angeles Times reported that those who took non-aspirin NSAIDs for at least five years were even less likely to have colorectal cancer, as these drugs can reduce the risk by 30% to 45%.

While previous studies already suggested the possibility of NSAIDs reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, it wasn't until researchers turned to data from Denmark that the results were confirmed.

In the study, 10,280 adults from the northern part of the country were diagnosed.

For each patient, researchers identified 10 "controls" - which included adults sharing the same birth year and gender, and living in the same area, but did not have colorectal cancer.

The patients who were already diagnosed with colorectal cancer were slightly less likely than the controls to have a colonoscopy, but for the most part, the two groups were similar.

However, merely having taken aspirin did not lower the risk, according to the report.

Dr. Soren Friis from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen told Reuters, "Unless low-dose aspirin is taken continuously, there is little protection against colorectal cancer."

He also mentioned non-aspirin NSAIDs, saying, "... There was some indication that even non-continuous use of these agents may be (marginally) effective for the prevention of colorectal cancer."

However, Dr. Friis also emphasized that despite the findings, people should not start taking NSAIDs based solely on the data collected.

He said, "Self-medication with aspirin or non-aspirin NSAIDs is strongly discouraged, due to the possibility of serious adverse events. The public should not take any medication regularly without consulting with a physician."

Dr. Gurpreet Singh Ranger from Nova Scotia, Canada, agreed with Dr. Friis, saying, "Low dose aspirin, already taken regularly by millions, reduces the risk of colorectal cancer."

But Dr. Ranger emphasized, "before starting to take aspirin long term, it is important to discuss the implications with your family doctor or specialist."

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