A new study shows that taking an aspirin every other day lowers the risk of colon cancer in women, say experts at Burzynski Clinic. In the study, women who took low dose aspirin every other day for 18 years had a 20 percent lower chance of developing colon cancer. The report followed more than 30,000 women, half of whom took aspirin every other day, and half of whom took placebo treatments. Other studies have previously shown a lower incidence in colon cancer in men who took aspirin regularly, explain Burzynski Clinic doctors, but this is the first study on this matter to look exclusively at women.
The results are interesting to Burzynski Clinic and other experts, because such a low dose of aspirin hasn’t been thought to have an effect on cancer. The study began with 39,876 women aged 45 and up. 18 years later, after some had dropped out, 16,913 women were left in the aspirin group and 16,769 in the group receiving placebos.
During the first ten years of the study, the participants were given yearly supplies of calendar-packs of either placebos or aspirin. At 6 months, 12 months, and then yearly, they filled out questionnaires that asked things like whether they were taking the medication on schedule, whether they had experienced any side effects, and whether they had had a cancer diagnosis. At the ten-year mark in the study, there was no difference in cancer risk between the group taking aspirin and the group taking placebos, say doctors at Burzynski Clinic. But by the end of the study, while there was no difference in risk of breast and lung cancer, there was a sizable difference in colorectal cancer risk. 202 women who took aspirin developed colorectal cancer, while 249 in the placebo group received the same diagnosis.
Burzynski Clinic experts feel that a 20 percent reduction in risk is substantial enough to warrant further investigation and possible action. It’s possible that the reason there was no difference noted in the first decade of the study is because colon cancer takes a long time to develop, growing slowly sometimes over a period of many years.
Other studies show that aspirin has a positive effect on other types of cancer as well, although in certain types of cancer, it has been shown to have no effect at all. There is evidence that aspirin is beneficial in lung cancer, with protective effects evident both early and late. Researchers found that among people who take aspirin regularly, colon and lung tumors are smaller and spread more slowly than in patients who do not take aspirin. For example, 19 percent of people who took aspirin had metastatic cancers, compared with 25 percent of patients who did not take aspirin.
On average, tumors are smaller and less advanced among patients who use aspirin therapy when they have colon or lung cancer – but not those with breast or prostate cancer. These studies are promising and might confirm that aspirin is associated with a lower risk and better prognosis of colon and lung cancer. Researchers don’t know why aspirin is beneficial for certain cancers and not for others. One reason could be that breast and prostate cancers tend to involve more hormonal factors. It’s also possible that other factors were involved across the board, such as lifestyle.
More studies to help researchers understand aspirin’s role in cancer survival are expected. It is likely that those at increased risk for developing certain cancers will be advised to take aspirin regularly as part of their prevention strategy.
Burzynski Clinic Doctors Warn Women to Talk to Their Doctors Before Beginning Aspirin Therapy
Neither Burzynski Clinic nor other health care officials are recommending at this time that all women begin aspirin therapy, though. That’s because aspirin causes certain side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding. There is also a slight risk for bleeding in the brain when aspirin is taken regularly. However, this risk is offset by a slight decrease in the risk of a certain type of stroke.
Women with a family history of colon cancer who are interested in trying aspirin therapy should ask their doctors about it. This is a decision best not made alone, because your doctor can tailor a treatment plan specifically for you. Certain women may be more prone to GI bleeding, so discussing these risks with your doctor can help you make a more informed decision.
The study did not address whether medications with similarities to aspirin, such as non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), might produce similar results. It’s possible that aspirin and NSAIDs could affect cancer the same way, as suggested by other studies.
Burzynski Clinic doctors caution that aspirin therapy is not a substitute for cancer screening. Following screening recommendations remains an important tool in your defense against cancer, because early diagnosis and treatment is so much more effective. Besides aspirin therapy and screening, Burzynski Clinic experts say that people should always keep in mind ways to mitigate their overall cancer risk, such as avoiding tobacco, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
Burzynski Clinic is a cancer treatment facility in Houston, Texas. Working to identify the genes related to specific cancers, they create personalized treatment plans that address the needs of an individual.