Monday, 3 January 2011

Will an aspirin a day help keep fatal cancer away?

reposted from: - The Lancet, by Eric J Jacobs, Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA

crabsallover highlightskey pointscomments / links.

Full article saved on crabsallover PC (now subscribing to The Lancet online for a year): eric-jacobs-lancet-aspirin-cancer-rothwell.pdf

The main points that are not included in the Rothwell and colleagues paper  (online December 7th 2010, The Lancet, printed 1st January 2011) are:-

  • even low doses of aspirin cannot be used without substantial risk of serious side-effects. Doses of 75–100 mg per day increase the risk of serious gastrointestinal bleeding, possibly as much as do doses of 300–325 mg. 
  • Results from Rothwell and colleagues’ analysis, which included only trials of daily use, contrast with the null results for overall cancer mortality in the Women’s Health Study, a large 10-year randomised trial of 100 mg aspirin taken every other day. These different results suggest that aspirin might need to be used daily to reduce cancer mortality significantly; however, differences in study populations and chance could also have contributed to the contrast in results. Delayed effects of aspirin use could possibly be detected in the future during long-term post-intervention follow-up of the Women’s Health 
  • Future guideline committees should consider whether effects on cancer mortality might contribute to the overall balance of risks and benefits of daily aspirin use.

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