A low dose daily aspirin has long been associated with protecting against heart attacks and stroke.  Now, new research points to the long-term and short-term benefits of preventing cancer, as well as reducing metastasis or the spread of cancer.  In three papers published by the U.K. medical journal The Lancet, Peter Rothwell of University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, and colleagues discuss the short-term effects of aspirin with regards to preventing and event fighting the spread of cancer.

In the first article, researchers looked at 51 patient trials observing the role of aspirin in preventing heart attacks.  They found the risk of a cancer death in patients taking aspirin was reduced by 15% compared with patients not taking the medication.   That risk was reduced by 25% over three years, and down by 37% after five or more years when patients take a daily aspirin.  According to the second article aspirin reduced the overall risk of fatal common solid cancers by 35% —including colon, lung, and prostate cancers—in the trial populations, but not the risk of other fatal cancers such as blood cancers.  The third article focuses on aspirin's effect on preventing the growth and spread of cancer, finding aspirin reduces the long-term risk of several cancers and the risk of distant metastasis.

Dr. Paul Anthony, Medical Director at Lovelace Radiation Oncology, leads an experienced team of doctors, physicists, nurses, and therapists, utilizing the most cutting edge radiation treatment in the state of New Mexico.  Still, news of a simple daily dose of aspirin having a dramatic impact on cancer is encouraging news.   “Lovelace Medical Center has recently installed 3 new state of the art Radiation Oncology treatment machines; a Tomotherapy HD helical linear accelerator and a Varian 21iX linear accelerator and a Perfexion Gamma Knife (for treatment of brain tumors), which are better able to treat and cure cancer with even less side effects,” Dr. Anthony explains, “and now with the simple addition of a daily aspirin for our patients we can better improve our chances of succeeding in curing cancer.”  Despite the findings, Dr. Anthony warns of the potential side effects from aspirin, “the one caution however is that daily aspirin therapy has to be individualized for each patient with their doctor’s advice, as aspirin can cause internal stomach bleeding in some patients, even without experiencing pain.  So, if you develop stomach pain or see your stools turning black, contact your doctor right away to see if you must stop taking aspirin.”     

For more information about Lovelace Cancer Care Center, please visit our website.

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