Can Taking Aspirin Help Prevent Cancer?

Scimplified Research: It is affordable, and its adverse effects are often mild and well-known. Since it was created in the 1890s, research has indicated that it may have a number of advantages, including the ability to reduce pain and heat as well as shield against heart attacks and strokes.

The list of potential advantages of aspirin has expanded during the past 20 years or so. Did you know that aspirin may reduce your risk of developing a number of cancers? This list may soon grow even larger.

Aspirin and Cancer Research

Studies indicate that aspirin may reduce the risk of some cancers, particularly those that involve the

  • colon
  • ovaries
  • liver
  • prostate

Guidelines advise daily aspirin use for some populations to prevent colon cancer, including adults aged 50 to 59 with cardiovascular risk factors and those with an inherited propensity for colon polyps and cancer. This is because there is strong evidence that aspirin can lower the risk of colon cancer.

What about breast cancer, though? Recent research suggests that breast cancer should be included on this list.

Aspirin and Breast Cancer Research

In one of the more persuasive studies relating aspirin use to a reduced risk of breast cancer, more than 57,000 women who participated in the health survey were monitored. About 3% of them had received a new breast cancer diagnosis eight years later. Breast cancer rates were considerably lower in those who reported using low-dose aspirin (81 mg) at least three days per week.

A 16% decreased risk of breast cancer was linked to regular low-dose aspirin use.
The risk decrease was much higher — nearly 20% — for HR positive/HER2 negative breast cancer, a prevalent hormone-driven form of the disease.
Regular-dose aspirin (325 mg) users and those taking other anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen did not significantly reduce their risk.

Another investigation looked at the results of 13 earlier studies with more than 850,000 women and discovered

  • a 14% decreased risk after taking aspirin for five years.
  • a 27% decreased risk following ten years of aspirin use
  • 20 years of aspirin use resulted in a 46% decrease in risk.

How Does Aspirin Impact the Risk of Breast Cancer?

These studies did not look at the mechanism by which aspirin might lower the risk of breast cancer. So, we have no idea how it might operate.

Aspirin has shown anti-tumor characteristics in breast cancer tests on animals, including preventing tumour cell proliferation and slowing the formation of precancerous cells. Aspirin has been found to have an anti-estrogen effect in humans.

Because oestrogen promotes the growth of some breast cancers, this may be significant. Aspirin may also prevent the development of new blood vessels that breast tumours require to spread.

Aspirin’s capacity to inhibit the growth of cancer cells appears to be stronger in tumours with certain mutations, suggesting that the specific genetics of the tumour cells may also be significant.

What’s next?

It’s still too early to advise women to use aspirin to avoid breast cancer. These kind of studies cannot establish that a medicine, such as low-dose aspirin, reduced the chance of breast cancer, but they can demonstrate a relationship between taking the medication and that condition’s risk. To ascertain if aspirin therapy reduces the risk of breast cancer, a true clinical trial will be required, one that compares rates of breast cancer among women randomly allocated to take aspirin or a placebo.

All medications have side effects.

Keep in mind that aspirin is one of several drugs that can have negative side effects. Even though aspirin is typically thought to be safe, it can nonetheless result in stomach ulcers, bleeding, and allergic reactions. Additionally, aspirin is typically avoided in children and teenagers due to the possibility of Reye’s syndrome, an uncommon but deadly disorder that can injure the brain, liver, and other organs.

Keep reading

To assist treat and prevent cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and strokes, low-dose aspirin is frequently recommended.

The potential benefits for saving lives and money on healthcare may be far greater than previously thought if the drug’s anti-cancer effects are validated. But not everyone benefits from aspirin, and some individuals should avoid taking it.

So find out from your doctor if it’s a good idea for you to consistently take aspirin.

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