Aspirin and Pancreatic cancer

Aspirin and Pancreatic cancer featured image

There is now evidence that low-dose aspirin, known to reduce the risk for heart disease, may also reduce the risk for pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer has a 94 percent fatality rate, and the there will be about 4700 new cases and 4300 deaths in Canada  from the disease this year.

In a five-year study, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers compared aspirin use in 362 pancreatic cancer patients with 690 randomly chosen controls. After controlling for age, sex, race, smoking, diabetes and other variables, the researchers found that regular aspirin use lowered the risk for pancreatic cancer by 48 percent.

And the longer people took the Aspirin, the more protective it was.

Why aspirin would do this is unclear. But other studies have found it can reduce the risk of other cancers like those of the colon, esophagus, and lung.. The researchers conclude that if you are already using low-dose aspirin for cardiovascular disease prevention, you can feel good that most likely it’s lowering your risk for pancreatic cancer. But they say these results don’t mean you should start taking aspirin because the medicine has side effects like gastrointestinal bleeding. As usual, the advice is to talk to your doctor.

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