Daily aspirin therapy may lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, but two new studies suggest that such therapy may also reduce the risk of many cancers and prevent some tumors from spreading. One study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford found that after three years of daily aspirin use, the risk of developing cancer dropped by 25 percent compared to a control group that did not take aspirin. Taking the study out five years demonstrated a 37 percent reduced risk of developing cancer.
A second set of British studies conducted over 61/2 years demonstrated that daily aspirin use reduced the risk of developing metastatic cancer by 36 percent and the risk of adenocarcinomas, common cancers such as lung, prostate and colon cancers, by 46 percent. The study also showed that daily aspirin use reduced the risk of cancers spreading to metastatic disease. The studies were published in The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology.
While there may be benefits from daily aspirin therapy for heart health and cancer prevention, it is not without risks and it is not for everyone. Aspirin interferes with blood's clotting action so the biggest risks are gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic bleeding. Risk factors such as prior heart attack or stroke, or a high risk of either, will weigh in favor of such a regimen, while conditions such as bleeding and clotting disorders, asthma, heart failure and stomach ulcers will dictate against such a regimen. That's why it is imperative that you consult with physician for a risk factor analysis before you begin any daily aspirin therapy.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.