Aspirin can lower risk of colon cancer for those with Lynch syndrome

A recent study at England's Universities of Newcastle and Leeds produced encouraging results for people at high-risk of colon cancer. The research studied 861 patients who had Lynch syndrome, or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), which is a rare, inherited condition that increases a person's risk of developing colon cancer.

According to the research, taking aspirin daily for several years could help those with Lynch syndrome reduce their chance of developing colon cancer by 63 percent.

A USA Today article reported that Tom Bishop, an author of the study and a professor of epidemiology at Leeds University, said researchers speculate that aspirin causes DNA-damaged cells to die. They also concluded that aspirin's preventative effect on cancer doesn't appear in the patient until years later.

For the study, patients from 43 medical centers in 16 countries took either two aspirins (600mg) or a placebo every day for two years between the years 1999 and 2005. They found no difference in cancer risk between the two groups by 2007. However, by 2010, they found 34 new cases of colorectal cancer in the placebo group and only 19 cases in the group who took aspirin.

Further research is underway to determine the optimum dose and duration of aspirin treatment. The research team is recruiting 3,000 people across the world to compare the effectiveness of two aspirin a day with lower dosages.

Experts warn that increased dosages of aspirin can cause ulcers and stomach bleeding. Do not begin taking aspirin every day until you speak with your physician. If you have family history of colorectal cancer or Lynch syndrome, speak with your physician about preventative measures.


Posted December 9, 2011


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