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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 Considered Safe in Lowering Bowel Cancer Risk

Importantly, treatment with aspirin and EPA was safe with no increased bleeding risk

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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)

Intake of aspirin and omega-3 is safe and effective at reducing chances of bowel cancer in high-risk patients, according to a new clinical trial.

In the trial, published in the journal The Lancet, these low-cost drugs reduced the number of pre-cancerous polyps — a small growth, usually benign — in patients found to be at high risk of developing bowel cancer.

The findings showed that patients who took aspirin had 22 per cent fewer polyps compared to those who took the placebo.

Those who took omega-3, also called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) had 9 per cent fewer polyps compared to those who took the placebo.

Although aspirin and EPA had beneficial effects on polyp numbers individually, the combination of aspirin and EPA together appeared to have an even greater effect, as it provided another layer of prevention, alongside colonoscopy, the researchers said.

“The trial demonstrates that both aspirin and EPA have preventative effects, which is particularly exciting given that they are both relatively cheap and safe compounds to give to patients,” said Mark Hull, Professor at the University of Leeds in the UK.

In the trial the team included over 700 patients, all of whom had a higher risk of developing bowel cancer after having a colonoscopy.

Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Aspirin and omega-3 safe, lower bowel cancer risk: Study. Pixabay

Participants took either a 300 milligram aspirin tablet, 2 grams EPA in four capsules, a combination of both aspirin and EPA, or placebos only.

The results showed both aspirin and omega-3 reduced the number of bowel polyps in patients one year on from a screening colonoscopy (large bowel camera test).

However, they did not reduce the chances of an individual having any polyps present in the bowel.

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Importantly, treatment with aspirin and EPA was safe with no increased bleeding risk.

However, individuals who took EPA on its own had a slight increase in stomach upset symptoms.

Further research is needed to test aspirin and EPA treatment together for polyp prevention, the researchers noted. (IANS)