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Daily aspirin use may cut digestive cancer risk | Health News

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Aspirin

Hong Kong, October’31: Individuals who regularly use pain reliever aspirin are likely to experience a significant reduction in digestive cancer risk, finds a study involving over 600,000 people.

The findings showed that patients who were prescribed aspirin daily showed a 47 per cent reduction in liver and oesophageal cancer incidence.

 Gastric cancer reduced by 38 per cent, pancreatic cancer by 34 per cent while colorectal cancer by 24 per cent, it said.

Digestive cancers account for almost a quarter of cancer cases in Europe.

Colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cancer are within the top five cancer killers throughout the continent, with digestive cancers representing 30.1 per cent of cancer deaths.

“The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers,” said lead researcher Kelvin Tsoi, Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer,” Tsoi added.

The results were presented at the 25th United European Gastroenterology Week in Barcelona.

Moreover, the effect of long-term use of aspirin was also seen in significant reduction in leukaemia, lung and prostate cancers and some breast, bladder, kidney and multiple myeloma cancers.

For the study, the team compared patients who were prescribed aspirin over a long period (for at least six months, average duration of aspirin prescribed was 7.7 years) with non-aspirin users.

Whilst the use of aspirin is debated within the medical community, a recent study also found that patients who stopped taking aspirin were 37 per cent more likely to have an adverse cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than those who continued with their prescription, the researchers noted.(IANS)

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Aspirin, ibuprofen Can Improve Survival Rate of Cancer Patients

The researchers pointed out that their results need to be corroborated in a prospective trial

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Breast Cancer
Nano technology offers hope for better cancer testing. Pixabay

Regular use of a common type of medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen significantly improves the survival rate for a third or more patients with head and neck cancer, a new study has found.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, for at least six months provided “markedly prolonged” improved five-year survival rate from 25 per cent to 78 per cent for patients whose cancer contained a specific altered gene, known as PIK3CA, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) reported.

The survival rate for patients whose gene was not altered in their tumour was unaffected by NSAID use.

“Our results suggest that the use of NSAIDs could significantly improve outcomes for not only head and neck cancer patients, but also patients with other cancers that contained the PIK3CA mutation,” said UCSF professor Jennifer R. Grandis.

Aspirin, Ovarian cancer
Aspirin pills are arranged on a counter in New York, Aug. 23, 2018. New studies find most people won’t benefit from taking daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. (VOA)

“The magnitude of the apparent advantage is strong, and could potentially have a positive impact on human health,” Grandis said.

Within head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, PIK3CA is the most commonly altered oncogene, with 34 per cent of all tumours carrying mutations that activate the PIK3CA gene.

In head and neck cancer associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV), PIK3CA is mutated in more than half of tumours.

In the research, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, 266 patients from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center whose tumours were surgically removed were investigated. The majority (84 per cent) smoked and 67 per cent received post-surgery chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.Median overall survival was 66 months.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Altogether, 75 tumours (28 per cent) in the study had an activating alteration of the PIK3CA gene.

Among the patients who regularly used NSAIDs, 93 per cent used aspirin as a component of the NSAID regiment, and 73 per cent took aspirin exclusively. Most of the regular users started on the aspirin therapy following their head and neck cancer diagnosis.

Through analysis of both cell line and mouse studies, the researchers speculated that NSAIDs likely blocked tumour growth by reducing the production of an inflammatory molecule called prostaglandin E2.

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The researchers pointed out that their results need to be corroborated in a prospective trial.

“NSAID use likely confers a statistically and clinically significant advantage in overall survival in PIK3CA-altered head and neck cancer through direct interaction between the PI3K and COX pathways,” said Grandis. (IANS)