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Aspirin? For Cancer?

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There has been no research to determine if an apple a day can actually keep the doctor away. But an aspirin, every other day, may.

We know aspirin can help protect your heart. Now a new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found women who took 100 mg of aspirin every other day, over 18 years, had 20% fewer colon cancers.

The Women’s Health Study included nearly 40,000 women 45 and older.

In this study, the aspirin protection was only seen for colon cancer. There was no drop in risk of other cancers.

We understand how aspirin can help your heart. It coats your platelets, making them less sticky, so your blood is less clotty.

We also know aspirin can help reduce inflammation.

But we’re still not sure how aspirin affects growth of cancer cells. We need more research.

Aspirin did have a down side: more stomach problems, including gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers in those taking it.

Currently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend taking aspirin to prevent cancer. Neither does the American Cancer Society. But when they consider this topic again, you may be sure they will consider the results of this study.

Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of aspirin, and if taking it is right for you.