Thursday, February 24, 2011

Daily Low-dose Aspirin Reduces the Cancer Death Rate 30-40%

Adult low-dose aspirin (81 mg) has been used to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes, but caution has been advised because of an increased risk of bleeding episodes. Dr. Peter Rothwell headed a group in England that found that in those who took aspirin for 5 years or longer, the death rate for the following cancers was reduced substantially: esophagus, pancreas, brain, stomach, colorectal, prostate and lung. The pendulum is swinging back in favor of taking low-dose aspirin, especially if you have a family history of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, if you bleed easily or have a history of a peptic ulcer, aspirin is not for you.

See Lancet(click here) 2010;376:1741-50.


katie said...

why does it help with cancer?

L Terry Chappell, MD said...

Good question. The answer is unknown. It probably has something to do with microscopic blood loss or anti-coagulation. The dose is too low to be anti-inflammatory.