There was also some good news in from the field of medicine at the beginning of this week, as scientists confirmed that daily aspirin helps against cancer. We are talking about gastrointestinal cancer, specifically, and the chances of surviving it are apparently very high in people who take one aspirin every day. These patients had their survival rate increased by 50% only because of this simple daily habit.
These conclusions have been drawn based on a study that was conducted in the Netherlands. The results were then presented at the European Cancer Congress. Aspirin has been confirmed numerous times as a great combatant for colorectal cancer, but this is the first time ever when researchers have unearthed this extra benefit. They are certain that this will pave the way for a broader use of aspirin.
Martine Frouws, a doctor from the department of surgical oncology at Leiden University Medical Centre, located in the Netherlands, has acknowledged that “If aspirin can become a regular treatment for cancer, it can have a large impact on cancer survival and global health.” The declaration was given during a press conference which can be accessed online for further details.
The study was no easy task, as Frouws and the team of researchers had to carefully analyze approximately 14,000 patients with gastrointestinal cancer. The study began back in 1998 and was concluded in 2011 and the population’s major conditions were colon cancer (almost 50% of the cases), rectal cancer (approximately 25% of the patients) and esophageal cancer (10% of the patients).
The majority of patients did not use aspirin at all, but 30% of them had been taking it before their diagnosis and around 8% of them took aspirin after they had already been diagnosed. What is interesting is that 75% of those who took aspirin after diagnosis lived 5 years longer on average. The same cannot be said about the ones who did not take it.
But while this extraordinary discovery was persistent in all gastrointestinal cancers, pancreatic cancer proved to be resistant to the use of aspirin.
For the time being, researchers are verifying whether aspirin is actually effective against this type of cancer or if placebo is involved. One thing is certain, however: if aspirin does help against gastrointestinal cancer, then this is a major step forward.
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