Headaches, Heart Disease, Stroke; Can Aspirin Prevent Cancer, Too?

(Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

We’ve known for years that the lowly over-the-counter aspirin not only relieves headaches, but it can also reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Now researchers have demonstrated aspirin can do even more: it may prevent cancer, specifically colon cancer in women.

There has been mounting evidence that links aspirin use to lower rates of cancer, particularly gastrointestinal cancers like colon cancer. Yet, few studies have set out to directly ask whether aspirin actually reduces cases of cancer.

Over the 18 year study, women who took aspirin reduced their risk of colon cancer by about 20 percent.
Results from the Women’s Health Study (WHS) released Monday is the first to examine how every-other-day use of low-dose aspirin specifically affects cancer in women, said Nancy Cook an author on the paper.

The researchers chose to use a low-dose of aspirin to minimize the drug’s side effects.

Until now, there has been little information about what dose of aspirin might be needed to prevent cancer. Continue reading