A new study has found that taking aspirin could help bowel cancer patients live longer. However, the researchers say it's too early to start recommending this treatment, as aspirin also has the potential to trigger dangerous bleeding, guardian.co.uk reports.
Dr. Andrew Chan of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues studied aspirin use in 1,279 men and women with colorectal cancer that had not spread to other parts of the body.
They found that people who took aspirin regularly after their diagnosis were nearly 29 percent less likely to die from their cancer than people who did not take aspirin. These people also were 21 percent less likely to die for any reason while they were in the study lasting more than two decades.
"These results suggest that aspirin may influence the biology of established colorectal tumours in addition to preventing their occurrence," Chan said, The Times of India reports.
Dr. Alfred Neugut from New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center said that "Aspirin may turn out to have a significant benefit in terms of improving survival for colon cancer patients."
Most colon cancer tumors produce an enzyme called COX-2, which triggers the cancer cells to grow. The theory is Aspirin may work by blocking COX-2 and preventing cancer growth.
"We should remember aspirin has side effects. We'll wait and see if it becomes part of the standard treatment for colon cancer," Dr. Neugut added, CBS reports.