The results of a recent study suggest that regular aspirin use reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer by half. Clinical studies have also found that regular aspirin use can reduce the risk for colon, esophageal, lung and prostate cancers, as well as lessen the risk of heart attack and stroke risk, the main reason many individuals take daily aspirin.
Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most-common malignancy in the U.S., in terms of new cases each year. About one in 60 adults will develop pancreatic cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of less than 5 percent. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Each year, approximately 46,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States and close to 37,000 die from the disease. The disease is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, and treatment of advanced disease remains challenging. In the absence of effective treatment, prevention of pancreatic cancer is the best treatment.
According to research published recently in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, taking aspirin regularly for a decade cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 60 percent. The study involved patients from 30 hospitals in Connecticut, including 362 people with pancreatic cancer and 690 people who didn’t have the disease. Men and women who took low-dose, about 75 to 325 milligrams, of aspirin daily, usually to prevent heart disease, had a 48 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer. The study also found that the longer a person took aspirin, the greater the protection against pancreatic cancer.
The mechanism by which aspirin reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer is but researchers have postulated that aspirin reduces cancer risk by lowering inflammation.