A new research conducted by Danish researchers has discovered that having 1 or 2 small aspirin tablets everyday for a minimum of five years may significantly decrease the occurrence of colon cancer. The findings of the study were presented in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Studies before this have also found that consuming simple painkillers like ibuprofen may help protect against colorectal cancer. However, these studies could not determine how much of these painkillers should be taken. These drugs are called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
These scientists used data on over 113,000 individuals and found out the link between NSAIDs, duration of treatment, and colon cancer occurrences.
The risk of developing colorectal cancer changes with age, race, ethnicity and lifestyle as per the study. The National Cancer Institute states that most of these cases are diagnosed in people that are aged 50 and above.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention able to calculate the risk online shows that a 50 year old white or black woman in the U.S. has a 1 and 1.4 percent chance of developing colon cancer in 10 years. While in her entire lifetime the risk is between 5 and 5.4 percent. On the other hand for a U.S. male of the same age, this risk would be about 1.4 percent and 5.8 percent respectively.
Dr. Soren Friis from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen said "Unless low-dose aspirin is taken continuously, there is little protection against colorectal cancer."
The results of the study clearly indicated that taking low-dose aspirin continuously for at least five years was linked to a reduction of risk of colorectal cancer by 27%. Also, consuming nonaspirin NSAIDs like ibuprofen for around five years can decrease it by 30%.
Dr Friis also stated, "Nonaspirin NSAIDs were also protective against colorectal cancer with long-term use, and there was some indication that even non-continuous use of these agents may be (marginally) effective for the prevention of colorectal cancer."
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