“Take 2 Aspirin and call me in the morning.” Does that popular doctor’s order sound familiar to you? I have actually never heard a doctor say it, but the command had become synonymous with doctors over the years. Aspirin is a very widely used drug, and it is available over the counter or through prescription. Right now it is the most popular with heart disease patients, or for those who want to protect themselves from ever getting a heart attack. It has certainly grown into a lot more than a basic pain killer, or arthritic pill!
A recent study has suggested that Aspirin may soon become associated with helping to fight another kind of disease colon cancer. It is already known in some circles that Aspirin can help a little bit to prevent certain colon cancer tumors, when taken every day in the right dosage. However, this new study was more about the effects of Aspirin on colon cancer patients who had already had surgery to remove the cancer from their colon.
This was an extensive study and it included scientists at both the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. The team of researchers followed 1,279 men and women with non metastatic colorectal cancer. (In other words, colon cancer that is in Stage 1, 2 or 3.) These patients were followed and studied for a period of a few years, to see if the daily intake of Aspirin could actually do anything for their survival.
Since colon cancer is such a diverse type of cancer, this study had to take into consideration all of the different sub types of colon cancer tumors out there, and document what the effects of Aspirin were on all of them. As it turned out, the drug did do a lot for certain patients, and increased their chances of survival by up to 60 percent!
Even in the light of these new findings, scientists are still not ready to recommend Aspirin for colon cancer patients, due to the toxicities that can come with daily Aspirin use, such as gastrointestinal bleeding. It will still take some more studies on the subject before researchers are ready to make any definite conclusions about the effects of Aspirin on colon cancer, but we will hear more on the matter soon.
More tests and studies are now being done to see what we can do about the toxicities involved with daily Aspirin use, and if there is anything they can do to avoid them. If they are successful at taking the good and leaving the bad in this drug, it will be closer to being used on colon cancer patients who need to have some better chances of survival after surgery. In the meantime, don’t just sit around and wait on scientists; you can start preventing colon cancer right now, even if you are at risk for the disease. Start by eating right, exercising and going to your colonoscopy appointments.