It's not often that one medicine shows several benefits and we often hear of side effects more than positive effects. Enter aspirin. A study by Rothwell and others in the Lancet this week looked at more than 14,000 people in 4 studies and results from 3-7 years. The review found that daily use of low-dose aspirin does indeed decrease the risk of developing cancer of the colon as well as the risk of dying from it.
Looks like about a 35% decrease in death and a 24% decreased risk of colon cancer from mini-dose (81 mg) aspirin. This is important since some patients are directed by their doctors to take these small doses of aspirin in order to help prevent hert attack and stroke and it appears that they will also gain an expected benefit.
Please remember that NOT ALL other wise healthy people should take aspirin as even the low dose carries a benefit to risk decision and balancing the probable benefits must be carefully weighed against the risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding. Talk to your doctor to see if this makes sense for you!