Pancreatic Cancer: Reducing The Risk
A new study shows people who took aspirin even once a month were 29% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who either took other types of pain relievers or none at all.
For the study Xiang-Lin Ta, a research fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and his colleagues enrolled 904 patients who had documented pancreatic cancer. They compared them with 1,224 healthy patients. All patients were at least 55 years old and reported their use of aspirin, NSAIDs and acetaminophen in a questionnaire.
The researchers discovered that people who took aspirin at least one day during a month had a 29 per cent decreased risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who did not take aspirin regularly. (The researchers also allowed for pancreatic-cancer risk factors like BMI or Body Mass Index, and smoking.) The effect was also found for those who took low-dose aspirin for heart disease prevention at 35 per cent lower risk. No benefit was seen from non-aspirin NSAIDs or acetaminophen.
Although the findings are promising, medical experts warn against people taking aspirin routinely once a month to reduce their risk of pancreatic cancer.
Aspirin carries side effects. You shouldnt take aspirin without speaking with your doctor first, especially if you have some health conditions that could increase your risk of bleeding or other complications. These conditions include stomach ulcers, heart failure, a clotting or bleeding disorder and asthma.