Friday, 27 April 2012

Aspirin connection to Bowel cancer protection is unclear

reposted from:
crabsallover highlightskey pointscomments / links.

It's unclear why aspirin users survived bowel cancer for longer
NHS Choices says:
 "The risk of dying from bowel cancer can be “slashed by taking an aspirin a day”, according to the Daily Mirror. The news is based on a large Dutch study that examined the medical records of bowel cancer patients to see whether they had used aspirin before and after diagnosis. It found that those who used aspirin frequently after their diagnosis had a 33% greater chance of surviving for at least nine months than patients who had not been prescribed the drug or who only used the drug infrequently after diagnosis. The association between aspirin and improved survival rates was strongest in elderly patients who were not having chemotherapy."

How did the researchers interpret the results?
'The researchers said that aspirin use that begins or is maintained after a diagnosis of colon cancer is associated with a lower risk of overall mortality. They added that aspirin may have an important role as an “adjuvant” cancer treatment, which is one given in addition to the main treatment. “Our findings could have profound clinical implications,” said Dr Gerrit-Jan Liefers, the study’s lead author.'


The findings of this large observational study are noteworthy but do not prove that aspirin is an effective treatment for bowel cancer or that it improves disease survival rates.

Links to the headlines

Aspirin 'can cut cancer death risk'. The Independent, April 25 2012
Aspirin cuts bowel cancer patient death by a third. The Daily Telegraph, April 25 2012

Links to the science

Bastiaannet E, Sampieri K, Dekkers OM et al. Use of Aspirin postdiagnosis improves survival for colon cancer patients. British Journal of Cancer, March 27 2012

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