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Does an Aspirin A Day Keep Colon Cancer Away?

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Most people already know that a dose of "baby" aspirin taken each day is beneficial for many older people's health because it reduces the chance of a heart attack and some kinds of strokes but a new study out of the UK by Professor Peter Rothwell, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues shows benefits related to colorectal cancer.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)61543-7/abstract

Previous studies showed that high doses (>500mg) day were beneficial but daily high doses can be dangerous because aspirin can cause stomach bleeding and other problems.

The new study indicates that even at low doses people over 40 years-of-age will see a 25% reduction in colon cancer if they take a baby aspirin every day.

Long term use also reduces mortality (death rate) due to proximal colon cancer.

"Aspirin taken for several years at doses of at least 75 mg daily reduced long-term incidence and mortality due to colorectal cancer. Benefit was greatest for cancers of the proximal colon, which are not otherwise prevented effectively by screening with sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy."

There is a discussion on the Lancet Facebook page.

John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. Contact John through NewsBlaze.

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