Researchers in the United States (U.S.) said regular aspirin use before the diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) also known as colon cancer, is associated with reduced CRC-specific mortality.
The results of their new study is published online February 2 in the ‘Journal of the National Cancer Institute’. Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer, is any cancer that affects the colon and the rectum. Early cases can begin as non-cancerous polyps. These often have no symptoms but can be detected by screening. For this reason, doctors recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 50. Colon cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women, after breast cancer, and the third most common in men, after lung and prostate cancer.
In the study, the researchers found that longterm regular aspirin use before diagnosis was associated with lower CRCspecific mortality. The study showed that there was no significant association seen for postdiagnosis regular aspirin use with the risk for CRCspecific mortality overall. However, compared with participants who did not use aspirin both before and after diagnosis, the risk for CRC-specific mortality was lower for those who began regular aspirin use only after their diagnosis.
Jane C. Figueiredo, Ph.D., from the Cedars- Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the association for aspirin and nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with CRC-specific survival in a prospective analysis of women and men from the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort who were cancer-free at baseline (1992/1993) and diagnosed with CRC through followup (2015). Lower odds of diagnosis with distant metastases were seen with long-term aspirin use before diagnosis.
“While more evidence is needed, preferably from randomised, controlled trials, findings from this study are an important resource to inform clinicians and CRC survivors about the potential benefits and harms of aspirin and nonaspirin NSAIDs use,” a coauthor said in a statement.