Scientists prove regular aspirin intake halves cancer risk

Scientists including those from Queen's University have discovered that taking regular aspirin halves the risk of developing hereditary cancers.

Hereditary cancers are those which develop as a result of a gene fault inherited from a parent. Bowel and cancers are the most common forms of hereditary cancers. Fifty thousand people in the UK are diagnosed with bowel and womb cancers every year; 10 per cent of these cancers are thought to be hereditary.

The decade-long study, which involved scientists and from 43 centres in 16 countries and was funded by Cancer Research UK, followed nearly 1,000 patients, in some cases for over 10 years. The study found that those who had been taking a regular dose of aspirin had 50 per cent fewer incidences of hereditary cancer compared with those who were not taking aspirin.

The research focused on people with Lynch syndrome which is an inherited that causes cancer by affecting responsible for detecting and repairing damage in the . Around 50 per cent of those with Lynch syndrome develop cancer, mainly in the bowel and womb. The study looked at all cancers related to the syndrome, and found that almost 30 per cent of the patients not taking aspirin had developed a cancer compared to around 15 per cent of those taking the aspirin.

Those who had taken aspirin still developed the same number of , which are thought to be precursors of cancer, as those who did not take aspirin but they did not go on to develop cancer. It suggests that aspirin could possibly be causing these cells to destruct before they turn cancerous.

Over 1,000 people were diagnosed with in Northern Ireland last year; 400 of these died from the disease. Ten per cent of bowel cancer cases are hereditary and by taking aspirin regularly the number of those dying from the hereditary form of the disease could be halved.

Professor Patrick Morrison from Queen's University in Belfast, who led the part of the study, said: "The results of this study, which has been ongoing for over a decade, proves that the regular intake of aspirin over a prolonged period halves the risk of developing hereditary cancers. The effects of aspirin in the first five years of the study were not clear but in those who took aspirin for between five and ten years the results were very clear."

"This is a huge breakthrough in terms of cancer prevention. For those who have a history of hereditary cancers in their family, like bowel and womb cancers, this will be welcome news. Not only does it show we can reduce cancer rates and ultimately deaths, it opens up other avenues for further cancer prevention research. We aim now to go forward with another trial to assess the most effective dosage of aspirin for hereditary and to look at the use of aspirin in the general population as a way of reducing the risk of bowel cancer.

"For anyone considering taking aspirin I would recommend discussing this with your GP first as is known to bring with it a risk of stomach complaints, including ulcers." The research is due to be published in the Lancet Online on Oct. 28 2011.

More information: www.capp3.org/

Provided by Queen's University Belfast

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Shabs42
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
I expect misleading headlines from sites like Huffington Post, but it really bothers me when PhysOrg does it. They should know better than to start any article with "scientists prove..." Also, the headline makes it sound like half of all cancer is prevented by aspirin, when in reality the article says that half of the 10% of cancer that is hereditary can be prevented, so really 5% of cancer cases APPEARS to be prevented by taking a regular dose of aspirin.
Callippo
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
Scientists demonstrated regular aspirin intake doubles the risk of macular degeneration

http://www.wellne...indness/

There's no doubt, the aspirin is one of most natural (actually nature identical) chemicals used in contemporary pharmacy - but it has its own risks too.
Callippo
not rated yet Oct 30, 2011
Another consequence of aspirine preventive medication: you shouldn't stop with it http://www.medpag...b_cardio