Acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in Aspirin can lower the risk of redeveloping colorectal cancer

Acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in Aspirin®, can lower the risk of redeveloping colorectal cancer: Stage III colon cancer patients, who have undergone surgery and chemotherapy, experience less recurrence and fatalities when using Aspirin®. These findings, based on a recent study, were presented during the 2005 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The study comprised 830 patients with stage III colon cancer, who, at the same time, were taking part in another trial intended to evaluate two different chemotherapeutic regimens. During chemotherapy and again six months after treatment, each test person completed questionnaires concerning medication use and lifestyle. 72 participants, that is 8.7 percent of these patients, regularly resorted to acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) - before and after their cancer treatment. When compared with the group of non- Aspirin® users, researchers noted a significant reduction (48 percent) in the risk of disease recurrence and death. Therefore, they concluded that consistent usage of ASA can be associated with improved outcomes for patients with stage III colon cancer.

Previous research studies support these findings: They have shown that large doses of acetylsalicylic acid can significantly decrease the incidence of colorectal polyps - initially benign tumors that can turn malignant if left untreated. Additionally, ASA may prevent pre-cancerous lesions.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths - and that although the chances of a cure are good if it is diagnosed early enough. Colon cancer is a malignancy involving both large intestines (colon) and a distal portion of the colon known as the rectum. Although there is no single cause for this illness, certain factors increase the risk of developing the disease, among them, for instance, an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol consumption, and a lack of exercise. Further risk factors include colorectal polyps, a family history of colorectal cancer, and a history of ulcerative colitis.

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