January 21, 2019
Senior woman with distorted arthritis hand taking aspirin pills
Wellness Tip

Aspirin vs. Colon Cancer

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you have been treated for colon cancer or have had an adenoma (a colon polyp that may become cancer) removed, talk with your doctor about taking a non­­steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

In a recent analysis in the journal BMJ, researchers pooled data from 15 clinical trials to determine the comparative effectiveness of these drugs. They found that non-aspirin NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and celecoxib, were most effective at preventing formation of an advanced adenoma. Low-dose aspirin ranked second but had a lower risk of side effects (notably stomach bleeding), so it can be a good option, the researchers concluded.

People who are at high risk for colorectal cancer because of family history should also discuss NSAIDs with their doctors. Meanwhile, if you are already taking low-dose aspirin for your heart (again, after medical consultation), you may be getting some protection against colorectal cancer as well.

Also see New Advice on Daily Aspirin.