Saturday, March 08, 2003

Aspirin Reduces Recurrence of Polyps
Taking daily aspirin for as little as three years was shown to reduce the development of colorectal polyps by 19 percent to 35 percent in people at high risk for colorectal cancer in two randomized, controlled clinical trials published in today's New England Journal of Medicine. These data confirm numerous, earlier observational studies that suggested that people who regularly take aspirin have lower rates of colorectal adenomas. Adenomas are abnormal growths (polyps) that are a critical midpoint in the development of most colorectal cancers.
These trials are very encouraging because they prove that we can disrupt the development of colorectal cancer by preventing the polyps that can become cancer, said Ernest Hawk, M.D., M.P.H. "If we can prevent adenomas from forming, we believe we ultimately can reduce colorectal cancers and colorectal cancer deaths."
Long-term aspirin therapy is not appropriate for everyone: most people do not have the same elevated risk for developing colorectal cancer as the people in these trials, and aspirin, like many drugs, can have side effects. All people age 50 and older should continue to get colorectal cancer screening exams regularly.
(posted by Iman)

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