Low-dose aspirin may reduce colorectal cancer in healthy women.

Happy Tuesday Friends, I found this recent news article online and just had to share.

Alternate-day, low-dose aspirin may reduce colorectal cancer in healthy women

Long-term use of alternate-day, low-dose aspirin may reduce risk for colorectal cancer but increase risk for gastrointestinal bleeding in healthy women, a new study found.

Researchers followed 39,876 women aged 45 years or older in the Women's Health Study (WHS) who took 100 mg of alternate-day aspirin or placebo beginning April 30, 1993, through Jan. 24, 1996 and ending March 31, 2004. There was a median of 10 years of follow-up among 33,682 women through March 2012.

Results appeared in the July 16 Annals of Internal Medicine.

There were 5,071 cancer cases (including 2,070 breast, 451 colorectal, and 431 lung cancer cases) and 1,391 deaths from cancer in the entire group. Colorectal cancer was reduced in the aspirin group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.97; P=0.021), primarily proximal colon cancer (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.95;P=0.022). Survival curves suggested that the difference emerged after 10 years, with a post-trial colorectal cancer reduction of 42% (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.80; P<0.001). There was no extended effect on cancer deaths or colorectal polyps. The aspirin group had more gastrointestinal bleeding (HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.22; P<0.001) and peptic ulcers (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.27; P<0.001). Aspirin had no effect on all-type cancer rates (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.03;P=0.31), breast cancer (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.07; P=0.65) or lung cancer (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.26; P=0.67).

The researchers noted that delayed differences in cancer outcomes by aspirin assignment may indicate an effect in the early stages of carcinogenesis, requiring a long latent period, especially at low doses, or that increased gastrointestinal bleeding leads to more endoscopy and early polyp removal.

They wrote, "However, rates of colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy were similar among groups in the WHS, and we found no difference in reported colon polyp occurrence over time. Furthermore, the greatest effect was seen in the proximal colon, which is less affected by sigmoidoscopy. Even if reduced cancer is caused by increased endoscopy and polyp removal due to symptoms, the net clinical effect seems to be a reduction in colorectal cancer."



-- Dr. Dale