Regular aspirin use significantly reduced risk of cancer, metastasis and cancer mortality, findings from the largest-ever analyses exploring the drug’s effects on cancer indicate.
Overall, aspirin users had a 38% reduced risk of colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers compared with nonusers. Mortality risk was 15% lower and metastasis was 35% to 40% lower among regular aspirin users.
Aspirin use also reduced risk for major vascular events, but these benefits were initially offset by an increased risk for major bleeding events. Both of these affects diminished over time, however, leaving only a reduced risk for cancer after three years, Peter M. Rothwell, FMedSci, of the University of Oxford in England, and colleagues reported in three studies published online in Lancet and Lancet Oncology.
“In view of the very low rates of vascular events in recent and ongoing trials of aspirin in primary prevention, prevention of cancer could become the main justification for aspirin use in this setting, although more research is required to identify which individuals are likely to benefit most,” they wrote.
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