Daily Aspirin Use Cuts Risk of Digestive Cancers, Study Claims

Another study came out today revealing the cancer-fighting potential of Aspirin. A major study by Chinese researchers has shown that long-term use of pain reliever aspirin can significantly reduce the risk of developing digestive cancers.

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer refers to a group of cancers that affect the organs of the digestive system. The GI cancers include colorectal cancer, gastric (stomach) cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, bowel cancer, and small intestine cancers.

The latest study, which spanned 10 years and included 618,884 participants, is being touted as the largest study to date examining the correlation between cancer and aspirin. The researchers followed the participants for up to 14 years to look at the link between cancer and the pain relieving drug, and found those who regularly used aspirin were likely to experience a significant reduction in digestive cancer risk.

The team found that individuals who had taken the pain-relieving drug every day for an average of seven years were 47 percent less likely to have liver and oesophageal cancer, 38 percent less likely to develop gastric cancer, and 34 percent less likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In addition, drug users’ risk of colorectal cancer was also lowered by 24 percent.

“The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers,” said lead researcher Professor Kelvin Tsoi from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer.”

Further investigation showed that long-term use of aspirin had no impact on cancers of breast, bladder, kidney and multiple myeloma. However, aspirin seemed to significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer by 35 percent, leukaemia by 24 percent and prostate cancer by 14 percent.

Discovered a century ago, Aspirin is today used across the globe to treat a number of health conditions, ranging from short-term pain relief to treat long-term ailments. The pain relieving pill is already known to protect against heart attacks and strokes, and is believed to block ‘COX2’ enzymes that boost the growth of cancer tumours. Recently, a study found that patients who stopped taking aspirin were 37 percent more at risk of having an adverse cardiovascular catastrophe, such as a heart attack or stroke.

The research findings were presented at the 25th UEG (United European Gastroenterology) Week in Barcelona.