Did You Know…that one baby aspirin a day cuts the risk of cancer development, metastases, and death?
Numerous recent studies, along with a very large British review of published literature, document what many experts have long believed—that is, that small amounts of aspirin over long periods of time can cut your risk of certain cancers.
Below is a round up of reasons that many experts—including your own doctor—might advise you to consider a daily baby aspirin.
A study conducted in 2011 showed that women who took aspirin had about a 20% lower risk of breast cancer than non-users.
In another study, breast cancer survivors who took a daily aspirin were 43% less likely to have recurrence and 64% less likely to die from the disease.
In a huge meta-analysis of four large aspirin studies conducted over 18 years, researchers found that taking 75 mg of aspirin (similar to the amount in a baby aspirin) for 5 or more years led to:
- 70% lower risk of developing colon cancer
- 40% lower risk of developing rectal cancer
Among 60,000 women studied, those who used aspirin had a 21% lower risk of melanoma compared with non-users. The longer the women used aspirin, the lower their risk.
In a study of 20,000 women, those who took aspirin daily had a 20% lower risk of ovarian cancer than those who used aspirin less than once a week.
In a study of 5,955 men who underwent surgery or radiation for prostate cancer, those who regularly used aspirin had a:
- 57% lower risk of dying from prostate cancer after 10 years of follow-up
- lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence
- lower risk of bone metastases from prostate cancer
One large meta-analysis examined eight separate studies of more than 25,000 patients who took baby aspirin for four years or longer, compared to placebo. With aspirin, the risk of dying from several common cancers dropped after five years of follow-up:
10% lower risk for death from prostate cancer
30% lower risk for death from lung cancer
40% lower risk for death from colon, rectal, pancreatic, and stomach cancers
60% lower risk for death from esophageal and throat cancers
Researchers say that for most people, your mid 40s are the best time to start taking a low-dose or baby aspirin. This is when the risk of most cancers starts to rise. No studies found better results with higher doses.
Of course, researchers don’t know exactly who will definitely benefit from aspirin’s anti-cancer effects. If you are not currently taking a daily, low-dose or baby aspirin, experts recommend first discussing the potential risks and benefits with your doctor. Serious risks are uncommon but can be made worse—for example, bleeding, stomach ulcers/gastritis, etc.—by your other health issues or medications. However, most experts agree that for generally healthy individuals, the risks of taking a daily, low-dose aspirin are low, and the potential anti-cancer benefits are substantial.