Aspirin may lower pancreatic cancer risk
New research suggests that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer may be decreased significantly in some people by taking a small daily dose of aspirin.
In the study, researchers analyzed the effects of aspirin use in 362 patients with pancreatic cancer at 30 hospitals in Connecticut, as well as 690 people without cancer, between the years 2005 and 2009.
The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, showed that the participants who regularly took low-dose aspirin—defined in the study as 75 to 325 milligrams per day—for six years or less had a 39 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer than the participants who took no aspirin. Additionally, the participants who regularly took low-dose aspirin for more than 10 years had a 60 percent reduction in pancreatic cancer risk.
The researchers noted that the study’s findings do not suggest that everyone should start taking daily aspirin to prevent pancreatic cancer, as aspirin’s side effects—such as internal bleeding and potential life-threatening complications—may outweigh its benefits. Researchers instead concluded that people already taking low-dose aspirin for various reasons may have the added benefit of reduced pancreatic cancer risk.