Aspirin has been shown to have a number of benefits. The most well known of these benefits is probably the one related to improving cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that taking aspirin on a daily basis can help ward off heart attacks and strokes. However, taking an aspirin on a regular basis also offers a variety of other health benefits as well. These include a reduction in the clots in the legs and deep vein thromboses that are a side effect of hormone therapy, slowing down the effects of aging and helping to reduce the severity and frequency of acne outbreaks.
In addition to the above benefits, aspirin has been shown to have a positive effect on preventing cancer. A number of types of cancer seem to be impacted, including esophageal, breast and prostate cancer. Now, it also seems that aspirin can reduce the likelihood of getting colon and rectal cancer.
Colon cancer and Aspirin
While scientists have known for more than twenty years that aspirin has a positive effect on preventing colon cancer, it is just recently that a startling discovery related to this medication has been made. Scientists have been able to personalize cancer treatment to target specific genetics making the process much more effective.
Preventing colon cancer
Today, though, it seems to be possible for doctors to customize even the prevention of colon cancer with their treatments. Using aspirin to do so depends heavily on genetics, though, as recent studies have shown. This information is great news for those people who have genetic markers that make them more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer.
In a study that appears in Science Translational Medicine, aspirin usage of the participants in two large studies of national scope was tracked. Researchers followed 127,865 people and discovered 270 cases of cancer in which certain enzyme levels were tracked. This enzyme, known as 15-PGDH, is found within the lining of the intestines. Those people with high levels of this enzyme were shown to benefit the most from taking aspirin in regards to preventing colon cancer.
Scientists discovered that those people with low levels of the enzyme who took two aspirin tablets of regular strength each week had no significant effect on their cancer risk. However, for those people with high levels of the enzyme, the results were quite dramatic. Researchers found that their risk could be cut by fifty percent. These results stayed stable even after controlling for other factors.
While doctors do not routinely test for the levels of this enzyme, it can be inexpensively completed simply by doing an additional safe biopsy while the patient is having a colonoscopy.