Fact or Myth: Aspirin Side Effects Could Taking One A Day Be Deadly?

This is a fact.

Mainstream media is propagating a very irresponsible myth. If you Google the phrase “cancer and aspirin” you are inundated with headlines affirming aspirin’s miraculous abilities to prevent many different types of cancer, from breast to colon cancer. Such acclaim follows right on the heels of a 2004 study proving just the opposite: That aspirin fails to deliver any preventative effects on the growth of cancer and actually increases your risk of developing the disease!

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study linked daily aspirin intake with higher cancer risk. A research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston led by Dr. Eva S. Schernhammer, M.D., Dr.P.H., reviewed data compiled in the Nurses’ Health Study.

Data from this 20-year comprehensive study of 88,000 women suggests that women who consumed 2 or more aspirin per week had a 58% greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Women who took 14 or more aspirin weekly were 80% more likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. aspirin side effects

Dr. Schernhammer says, “Our findings do not support a protective effect of analgesic use (of aspirin) on the risk of pancreatic cancer. Rather, aspirin side effects appears to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer after extended periods of use.”

The claim that aspirin side effects can help prevent cancer is as unsupported and ill-advised as the recommendation that an aspirin a day can promote heart health. In 2010, a panel of medical experts and health professionals publicly criticized such an endorsement.

Research shows that regular use of aspirin deteriorates the intestinal lining, causing severe bleeding, colitis, intestinal perforation, infections and in some cases, even death.

Dr. Neena S. Abraham, a gastroenterologist at the Michael E. DeBakey V.A. Medical Center, reported on the harmful effects of aspirin in a 2010 New York Times article:

“It is important to remember that all NSAIDs, including over-the-counter aspirin, have the potential to damage the tissue of the gastrointestinal tract. Damage can occur anywhere, from mouth to anus…Aspirin is not a nutritional supplement — it is a medication with real risks and side-effects.”

Acetylsalicylic acid, the scientific name for aspirin, is synthetically produced from natural willow bark, which contains blood-thinning and pain-relieving properties. While aspirin side effects also effectively reduce pain, the harm still outweighs the benefit. Aspirin robs the body of essential minerals and nutrients, damaging vital organs, and aggravating, rather than alleviating heart conditions. Research indicates that regular use of aspirin side effects has been connected to heart attacks and strokes.

To prevent harmful side effects, regular use of aspirin (more than 2 tablets per week) should be avoided.