Daily Low-Dose Aspirin May Cut Pancreatic Cancer Risk

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Chinese-based study, analysis of previous research point to everyday use decreasing the odds 

There’s evidence that daily low-dose aspirin may decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study.

The Chinese-based study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect. However, “the balance of evidence shows that people who use aspirin to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease or colorectal cancer can feel positive that their use likely also lowers their risk for pancreatic cancer,” said study lead author Dr. Harvey Risch.

He’s professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Conn.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and almost 42,000 will die from the disease. Pancreatic cancer is often a “silent killer” because symptoms do not emerge until the tumor is advanced.

The new study tracked 761 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Shanghai from 2006 to 2011, and compared them to 794 people who didn’t have the cancer.

All the participants were asked about whether they took low-dose aspirin on a regular basis. Almost all who said they took it did so on a daily basis.

Eighteen percent of the non-cancer patients reported regular use of low-dose aspirin compared to 11 percent of the pancreatic cancer patients.

After adjusting their statistics so they wouldn’t be thrown off by various factors, the researchers estimate that aspirin may reduce the already small risk of pancreatic cancer by 46 percent.

However, Risch’s team stressed that the study doesn’t prove that aspirin directly produces a lower risk, and the participants may not have precisely remembered their aspirin intake.

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SOURCE: HealthDay News
Randy Dotinga