Aspirin, a drug used world wide for its analgesic properties, seems to be well on its way to becoming a wonder drug.
Randomized controlled studies have implicated its role in lowering the risks of a person dying from colorectal cancer, if taken for five years or more on a daily basis.
AdvertisementIt is also believed to reduce risks of dying from other forms of cancers too, such as that of the gastrointestinal tract.
A study was carried out on cancer deaths during and after randomized trials with daily aspirin. Information was collected from individual patient data from various groups.
The mean duration of scheduled trial was four years or longer.
In three different studies based in the UK, long-term post-trial follow-up of patients was obtained from cancer registries and death certificates.
The benefit from aspirin was evident only after a 5 year follow-up. As was evident from three trials the 20-year risk of cancer death was lower in the aspirin groups than in the control groups .
The latent period before aspirin showed it effect was about 5 years for oesophageal, pancreatic, brain, and lung cancer. The effect was further delayed in the case of stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancer.
In the case of lung and oesophageal cancer, benefit from aspirin intake was confined to the adenocarcinomas.
It may be noted that the benefit from the drug was unrelated to dose, smoking or the sex of the person; it, however, increased with age!
In conclusion it can therefore be inferred that a daily dose of aspirin has the ability to reduce a person's chances of getting various forms of cancer. The benefit was consistent in different populations groups studied.
These randomized controlled studies have provided evidence for the potential of aspirin in unraveling the process of carcinogenesis and for the drug interventions possible for cancer!
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