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Low-dose aspirin ‘lowers colon cancer risk’

By Nigel Praities

Low-dose aspirin therapy is associated with a reduced risk for developing colorectal cancer, according to a European study.

The study by researchers in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands looked at 14,000 patients from four major cardiovascular trials, where the effects of aspirin doses varying from 300mg to 75mg per day were compared with controls.

After 20 years, they found aspirin therapy was associated with a 24% reduced risk of colon cancer compared with controls, with the benefit greatest for cancers of the proximal colon (risk reduction of 55% compared with the control group).

The risk reduction for distil cancers of the colon and rectal cancers with aspirin was not significant, compared with controls.

Lead author Professor Peter Rothwell, professor of neurology at the University of Oxford, said: ‘This has implications for clinical practice. In patients with an established indication for long-term antiplatelet treatment, such as in secondary prevention of vascular disease, this additional benefit will favour treatment with aspirin over other antiplatelet drugs.

Lancet 2010; published early online October 22

Low-dose aspirin ‘lowers colon cancer risk’