24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Losing Sense of Smell Can Worsen Life in Many Ways: StudyCoronavirus Cases Top 2,700 in China, While 5th U.S. Case Is ConfirmedGene Test Might Spot Soccer Players at High Risk for Brain TroubleMany Americans in the Dark About Eye HealthFirst Clinical Studies Find Wuhan Virus Closely Resembles SARSA Flu Shot May Spare Your Young Child a Hospital VisitMany of America's Most Critical Workers Are Short on Their ZzzsFaulty Immune System May Lead to Lung CancerOnly 1 in 4 Older Cardiac Patients Get Rehab TherapyPrescription-Strength Steroid Creams Sold Over-the-Counter Can Be DangerousWhat You Need to Know Now About the Wuhan VirusThe Damage of Vaccine MisinformationAHA News: What's Blood Type Got to Do With Clot Risk?Racism Linked to Faster Aging Among BlacksScientists Trace Coronavirus Outbreak to SnakesBlacks, Hispanics More Likely to Have Better Outcome After 'Bleeding' StrokeNew Drug Could Help Stop Blindness From Thyroid Eye Disease'Yo-Yo' Blood Pressure Numbers in Youth a Bad Sign for Health LaterFlame Retardants, Pesticides Remain Threat to U.S. Health: StudyDon't Want a 2nd Heart Attack? Lose the Belly FatHow to Keep Those Blood Vessels PumpingScreening for Chinese Coronavirus to Start at 3 Major Airports: CDCDo You Take Warfarin? Time of Day Might Not MatterHealth Tip: Signs of Food PoisoningSepsis Causes Far More Deaths Worldwide Than ThoughtMillennials Most Likely to Skip Flu Shot, Believe 'Anti-Vaxxer' Claims: PollResearchers Alter Mosquitoes to Resist Dengue InfectionMany Americans Are Inactive, With Southerners Faring WorseVirtual Reality Can Bring Real-Life PainAre Doctors Discarding 'Injured' Kidneys That Might Be Used for Transplant?Nerve Stimulation Therapy Could Cut Fibromyalgia PainWhich Obesity Surgery Is Right for You?Brake Dust Another Driver of Air PollutionWhat Works Best to Help Men With Overactive Bladder?More Studies Link Vaping to Asthma, COPDCertain Diabetes Meds May Lower Gout Risk, TooHeart Transplants From Donors With Hepatitis C May Be Safe: StudyClimate Change May Translate Into More Fatal InjuriesAll in the Timing: Many Get Knee Replacement Too Late or Too SoonHealth Tip: Preparing for an UltrasoundLow Levels of Key Blood Cells Could Signal Higher Death RiskGyms Are Fertile Ground for GermsTwo More Heartburn Meds Recalled Due to Possible CarcinogenZika Damage Showing Up in Babies Deemed 'Normal' at BirthHealth Tip: Coping With Winter NosebleedsHeart Disease May Up Risk of Kidney FailureFlu Cases Surge Early, Could a Tough Season Lie Ahead?Cluster of Unhealthy Risk Factors Could Raise Odds of Recurrent Blood ClotsAHA News: Worried About Dementia? Check This Blood Pressure NumberNew Study Reports Alarming Surge in E-Scooter Accidents
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

Low-Dose Aspirin Might Cut Cancer Risk, Especially for Overweight People

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Dec 4th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Daily low-dose aspirin might reduce your risk of dying from cancer, particularly if you've packed on a few extra pounds, researchers say.

Taking aspirin three or more times a week is associated with a lower risk of cancer death as well as death for any reason, a new study reports.

Aspirin's protective effect appears particularly pronounced among people who are overweight -- those with a body mass index of 25 to 29.9, the results show.

Low-dose aspirin reduced overall cancer death risk by 15% and all-cause death by 19% among more than 146,000 people who participated in a cancer screening trial conducted between 1993 and 2008, the study authors said.

Overweight folks also experienced a marked decline in their risk of death from gastrointestinal cancer (28%) and colon cancer (34%).

"Our primary focus was really on colorectal cancer deaths, since there's a lot of evidence to suggest that aspirin use may lower risk of gastrointestinal deaths," said lead researcher Holli Loomans-Kropp, a cancer prevention fellow with the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The study results support the standing recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which says people 50 to 59 should take low-dose aspirin to prevent colon cancer if they're not at increased risk for bleeding.

Daily aspirin use as a preventive health measure has become controversial over the past few years, however.

In March, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association changed their guidelines to restrict low-dose aspirin use to people at high risk for heart disease or stroke. The two groups argued that the bleeding risk from aspirin outweighed the heart benefits for healthy people.

The USPSTF continues to recommend low-dose aspirin for middle-aged people for heart health, if they have a 10% or greater chance of developing heart disease within the next decade.

The new study involved a re-analysis of data gathered during the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial, which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

No one knows why aspirin might have this protective effect, but Loomans-Kropp said evidence points toward its anti-inflammatory action.

"Gastrointestinal cancers are highly inflammation-associated cancers, and where the strongest effect has been is with the gastrointestinal cancers," Loomans-Kropp said.

It's also possible that aspirin's blood-thinning effect might play a role, said Eric Jacobs, senior scientific director of epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society.

"Aspirin may help prevent cancer the same way that it helps prevent heart attacks, which is by blocking the activation of blood platelet cells," Jacobs said. "We know that activated platelets can release factors that help tumors grow, and activated platelets may also help cancers spread throughout the body."

People worried about colon cancer should talk with their doctor about getting screened for the disease, since a colonoscopy can remove polyps before they can develop into cancer, Jacobs said.

"Aspirin use is not the only way or the best way to lower risk of colorectal cancer," Jacobs said, adding that maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, quitting smoking and eating less red meat also can help reduce your risk.

Anyone thinking about taking daily aspirin should discuss it with their doctor first, said Dr. Merry Jennifer Markham, a spokesperson for the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a cancer doctor with the University of Florida.

"It's important to have a discussion with the physician about whether the benefits of regular aspirin use outweigh the harms," Markham said. "I don't believe this is a one-size-fits-all approach, and must be individualized based on the individual person's other health issues and bleeding risks."

The new study was published online Dec. 4 in JAMA Network Open.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about aspirin and cancer risk.