Millions of Americans take low-dose aspirin every day. It’s not just for headaches anymore. Large studies conducted over the years show that low-dose daily aspirin also supports heart health. Plus, researchers are now observing an additional benefit: cancer prevention.
In a new study, researchers asked 130,000 U.S. health professionals about aspirin use. They continued to ask the participants about it every two years, for a period of 32 years.
Almost 13,000 participants (about 10 percent) died of cancer over the study period. Researchers found a lower risk of all common cancers among those with regular aspirin use.
Overall, researchers linked regular aspirin use with an overall seven to 11 percent lower risk of cancer deaths, and up to 30 percent lower risk, over the next few decades.
When it came to specific types of cancer, the effect was greatest for colon cancer. Death rates for colon cancer among regular aspirin users were reduced by 30 percent. Plus, the risk of death from breast, lung, and prostate cancers were also significantly lower among regular aspirin users. Women had an 11 percent lower risk of breast cancer in this study, while men showed a 14 percent lower risk of lung cancer, and a 23 percent lower risk of prostate cancer death.
The dose of aspirin observed in the study was the low-dose (81 mg) form, already established to reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s possible that higher doses over different time periods could have even greater anti-cancer effects.
Indeed, yet another new study, published this month in the journal Breast Cancer Research, shows that regular low-dose aspirin reduced breast cancer risk by 20 percent.
Aspirin’s use against colon cancer and heart disease already established
For colon cancer, there was already strong evidence for aspirin’s use. In fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force already recommends low-dose aspirin for preventing colon cancer. People in their 50s and 60s should ask their doctors about the benefits of taking aspirin to protect against colon cancer.
In addition, doctors already recommend taking daily aspirin for 60-to-70-year-olds at increased risk of having a heart attack within the next decade. Heart attacks and strokes happen when blood vessels become occluded with blood clots (thrombi). Aspirin appears to prevent these blood clots from happening.
Between lowering the risk of death from the No. 1 and No. 2 two killers in older Americans today, simple aspirin can be considered a real “anti-aging” treatment for improved longevity.
Weigh the side effects carefully
Of course, aspirin also has risks of GI bleeding and irritation, as well as potentially increasing the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (the kind of stroke where bleeding occurs into the brain tissue).
However, NSAID drugs also cause GI bleeding, as well as lots of other problems. In fact, regular use of OTC ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxyn (Aleve) can raise your risk of having a heart attack and stroke by 10 percent, according to a 2014 FDA review.
Prescription strength doses of NSAIDs can increase your risk by 20 percent up to 50 percent after just a few weeks of use. Reserve these drugs for severe pain, at the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time. In any case, wouldn’t you rather lower your cancer risk by these impressive amounts by taking aspirin instead?
The AARP says cutting back on pain pills is the No. 2 step you can take to live longer (after their No. 1 of taking extra vitamin D).
I don’t always agree with AARP, but I do when it comes to their No. 1 and No. 2 easy steps to improve longevity
Of course, aspirin originally derives from the natural ingredient in willow bark and meadowsweet grass called salicylic acid. (The white willow tree is known botanically as Salyx alba.) It was a Native American remedy and has been around so long that it was “grandfathered” into regulatory approval before the FDA even existed. (Some experts think that aspirin might be “dangerous,” because it has never gone through the official FDA approval process for safety. As if that really makes a drug safe!)
Isn’t it interesting that the best “drugs” really turn out to be ancient herbal remedies?
P.S. For more information on natural, science-backed ways to prevent and even reverse cancer, see my new Authentic Anti-Cancer online learning protocol. You can learn more about it or enroll today by clicking here.
“Long-Term Aspirin May Cut Risk for Cancer Death,” Medscape (www.medscape.com) 4/6/2017
“Regular and low-dose aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and prospective risk of HER2-defined breast cancer: the California Teachers Study,” Breast Cancer Research (www.breast-cancer-research.biomedcentral.com) 5/1/2017