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Aspirin Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the more-aspirin-ya-got-the-healthier-ya-are dept.

Medicine 132

kkleiner writes "For years, research has shown that aspirin is beneficial in preventing heart attacks. Now new studies support its ability to prevent cancer as well. The studies, involving tens of thousands of participants over many decades, show reductions of cancer incidence (both short- and long-term) and mortality rate as well as a decrease in metastatic cancer. It still is not known exactly how aspirin and cancer are connected, but those between the ages of 45-50 will now likely consider taking low-dose aspirin daily for the remainder of their lives."

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132 comments

Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442905)

100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

Hmmm, that's odd, this "news" story reads like one of those ads trying to sell me something. Is this ancient Chinese secret or midwest housewife research?

For all the money spent on studies of aspirin, perhaps all the evidence anyone needs of its health benefits is the life of Walter Breuning, who lived to be 114 years old and aspirin was the only medication he ever took.

Oh, you just need a sample size of one? No need for that expensive tens of thousands double blind study, huh? And all he ever took was aspirin? We should refuse vaccines? And what the hell do you mean by "for all that money spent"? I find it odd that all three of the abstracts linked to in the article end with:

Funding
None.

Wait a second ... *checks URL*

singularityhub.com

Oh son of a bitch, it's more misinformation and half truths from Ray Kurzweil's disciples. Now I have to guess which is which.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443003)

"perhaps all the evidence anyone needs of its health benefits..."

Well, my grandmother relied exclusively on anecdotal evidence, and SHE lived to be 103!

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443151)

"perhaps all the evidence anyone needs of its health benefits..."

Well, my grandmother relied exclusively on anecdotal evidence, and SHE lived to be 103!

Was she related to Jiminy Cricket [wikipedia.org]?

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443257)

OK. That right there is why "Funny" deserves karma.

It's not misinformation (5, Informative)

pigwiggle (882643) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443031)

it's actual, real life, scientific research - published in a well read and respected peer reviewed medical journal. But if it's just the messenger that has you all wee weed up, try PBS
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june12/aspirin_03-21.html [pbs.org]

The Study Itself Is Fine, Singularity Hub Is Not (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443255)

it's actual, real life, scientific research - published in a well read and respected peer reviewed medical journal.

I've got no problem with the original research being legit. I have a problem with the original research showing that for this historical data it statistically linked aspirin to reducing the risk of cancer. It didn't show that these people who took aspirin were also more likely to take supplemental vitamins nor did it attempt to show exactly how the aspirin worked its "miracle." Was there a control group? You have to understand that the reason I'm "wee weeing" (whatever the hell that means) singularity hub is that they took totally legit level headed scientific research and they jumped all the way up to this:

100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

Now let me ask you, where in the research did it "show" in anyway how this prevents cancer? And the article itself was only worse. It's a statistical study on historical data and from your PBS link, they did it right:

How Aspirin May Help Prevent Certain Kinds of Cancer

Do you see the difference here? These singularists or futurists or whatever the hell you want to call them take this, which is like 50% and bump it all the way up to 100% and make it a universal truth. Then they extoll this about how they're living until the end of time and people get caught up in this. It's ridiculous and, yes, I'm going to call this out when I see it. I do call that half-truths and I do call that misinformation. We can be more clear about this and the people PBS interview are.

That part about the 114 year old man? That wasn't misinformation? The lead in that that was all you need? I was out of line to get annoyed by that?

Re:The Study Itself Is Fine, Singularity Hub Is No (4, Interesting)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443953)

I agree with you on a lot of points, but this study was more than just another correlation study like those that link high levels of vitamin D in subjects to reduced risks in cancer. This was a meta-analysis, which is meant to eliminate some of that bias by taking many studies (51 if I read correctly) and weighing them based on their merits and processes to look for statistical significance. Sure, it's not a perfectly executed double blind, but it's still an important study and the results shouldn't just be thrown out.

But ... (2)

pepty (1976012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39445479)

There was no significant difference in all cause mortality. So overall, the people who were assigned aspirin are living as long as the people who weren't.

Re:The Study Itself Is Fine, Singularity Hub Is No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39444199)

If you watch the video on PBS they interview a doctor and he says it appears that aspirin suppresses the body's creation of certain enzymes that are known to cause cancer to grow and metastasize,

Re:It's not misinformation (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443371)

it's actual, real life, scientific research - published in a well read and respected peer reviewed medical journal.

And that tells volumes on what today's "well read and respected peer reviewed" medical research amount to these days.

Of course, they'd blame the reporters, but you know the researchers are in on it because they know more publicity means more funding.

Re:It's not misinformation (3, Interesting)

dbet (1607261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443731)

It's real science, but it's bad science reporting.

First, the difference reported was small. The largest decrease in risk, in women, was 25%. 3.1 vs 3.9 deaths per 1000 people. That's what 3 years of aspirin is purchasing for you (for men the difference was smaller). This is what people fail to look at whenever it comes to incidence of disease. When something is increased by x% more than y, it's really important what y is.

Second, are there any negative effects of taking aspirin daily? Maybe? This paper doesn't address this, because it doesn't look for it. So telling the public that daily aspirin is a good idea is short-sighted. It's also medical advice that a single research paper can't really provide.

Third, I searched around and could only find summaries, so I'm questioning their methodology. But so far I can't find the info I'm looking for. What I'm interested in is the subject selection. Who these people were and where they come from is important. If for example the average age of participants was 70, the advice hold less weight for people who are 20. If all the participants were from the UK, maybe there are factors specific to people from the UK that would invalidate this finding if it were preformed in China.

I guess what I'm saying is, this one paper shouldn't change anyone's behavior or be considered medical advice.

Re:It's not misinformation (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443893)

Second, are there any negative effects of taking aspirin daily?

You mean besides increased risk of hemorrhagic strokes and other internal bleeding?

Re:It's not misinformation (1)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444141)

I guess what I'm saying is, this one paper shouldn't change anyone's behavior or be considered medical advice.

Sure, that one article isn't a good reason to change your behavior, but the linked article by the GP is not the same as the studies in the summary. There were three meta-analyses in the article, so it's not just 'one paper' or really even three papers. Maybe you were only referring to the GP's article, but I think the GP's point was to post yet another article in support of the meta-analyses from the summary, which is completely different from saying that you should take that single article as enough evidence to change your habits.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443065)

Hmmm, that's odd, this "news" story reads like one of those ads trying to sell me something. Is this ancient Chinese secret or midwest housewife research?

Neither, it was on TV news last night. It's a peer-reviewed study with unexpected results. Here are a couple of more reputable sources than the stupid FA that I didn't bother reading:

Can aspirin really reduce the risk of cancer? [guardian.co.uk]
Studies Link Daily Doses of Aspirin to Reduced Risk of Cancer [nytimes.com]

Unfortunately, many folks seem to pick the least reputable rag they can find as a link for their submissions, often their own blogs.

Aspirin isn't for everyone. Kids under 16 shouldn't take it, especially if they have the flu, and if you have stomach or digestive problems, hemophilia, or a few other conditions aspirin can be dangerous.

I wonder if Naproxin Sodium prevents cancer? I stopped taking aspirin when the patent on Alieve went away.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443251)

This has been going on for years - low dose aspirin either helps or it doesn't help.

Here's a couple of take home messages - the canonical study would be to see if low dose aspirin helps you live longer (live 'better' would be a much more useful metric, but pretty much impossible to do). IIRC, the studies that looked at that did not find any benefit from aspirin.

Second - all of these aspirin / cancer link studies have been pulled from aspirin and heart disease studies - these were secondary effects and the studies neither designed nor powered to ask whether or not aspirin was useful for cancer prevention. When you do this, you are pretty much at the mercy of people who purport to understand statistics much better than the vast majority of folks. Lies, damned lies and .... statistics.

And finally, when you see reports that a certain drug / treatment / lifestyle does or does not work over a number of various and sundry studies, it means that the value of the treatment / drug / lifestyle isn't all that much. In other words, the effect is just barely over the noise floor.

Don't worry about it, you're gonna die anyway.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443417)

Don't worry about it, you're gonna die anyway.

The evidence speaks against it. In all the time I lived, I've died exactly zero times. Therefore the experiment "will I die this second" has a huge about of evidence against (typical science experiments are data-starved in comparison!), the number of repetitions being larger than a billion, all with the same result: "No". Therefore I conclude that I'll never die. :-)

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443937)

Here's a couple of take home messages - the canonical study would be to see if low dose aspirin helps you live longer (live 'better' would be a much more useful metric, but pretty much impossible to do).

No one with arthritis needs a scientific study to know that aspirin does indeed help the quality of life. All analgesics do, that is if they work on you (Tylenol has no effect on me at all, except perhaps liver damage). Likewise, you don't need a scientific study to know that if you go outside in the rain you'll get wet, and if you stick your hand in a flame it will burn.

As to statistics, it's just the odds and isn't predictable for any given person. For example, it's proven that cigarettes cause cancer and lead to a short life, but my great uncle started smoking at age 12 and quit at age 82, and lived another 12 years. But just because he lived a very long life despite his smoking doesn't mean smoking's not dangerous. Likewise, just because fewer people who take aspirin daily get cancer than those that don't doesn't mean that if you take aspirin you don't need to worry about cancer.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39445123)

No, my point is that using aspirin to keep you from getting cancer does need a suitably powered high quality study (as opposed to using data generated from another study) because it's not clear if it helps.

Taking aspirin for arthritis is pretty easy - you take it, you're better or you're not in a couple of days on the outside. You can tell if it's going to trash your GI tract in a couple of weeks. So with n=1, you're study is pretty good. Put a couple of thousand people in the study and you can find some less common side effects (always good to know) and get a better picture of how well the drug works.

Taking aspirin for cardiovascular or cancer prevention is a whole different story. Your chances of getting colorectal cancer in the US (without a strong family history) is about 1 in 10000 (number from memory, it may well be wrong). Your risk for cardiovascular disease is a bit more complex but pretty well studied. But even if you're a 60 year old hypertensive smoker it's perhaps 1 in 50. So then you need reasonably powered studies to tease out the benefits and risks.

Current studies seem to indicate that for people at low risk of cardiovascular disease (ie, not diabetic, no previous heart attack or similar) don't benefit from daily low dose aspirin. This runs counter to older studies - but the newer studies are supposedly cleaner and better powered. This is an all to common finding in drug or treatment studies - early studies seem to yield better results that later ones. (cf, hormone replacement in menopausal women, bisphophonate treatment for osteoporosis, HDL cholesterol raising drugs, LDL cholesterol lowering drugs, etc.).

So other studies will be done and the balance may shift a bit over time - or we may discover a previously unknown variable that needs to be accounted for and the cycle will begin anew.

But a reasonable approach to something in medicine where studies are all over the map is that it doesn't make a whole lot of difference in a large population. There may be subpopulations where the treatment is really effective, but until you tease that out, you're just guessing.

In the case of aspirin, assuming that it doesn't give you ulcers and assuming that you don't need urgent trauma surgery, the risks and costs are pretty low. For other drugs, perhaps not so much.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39444785)

Second - all of these aspirin / cancer link studies have been pulled from aspirin and heart disease studies - these were secondary effects and the studies neither designed nor powered to ask whether or not aspirin was useful for cancer prevention.

It is not important that these are secondary effects, there is nothing wrong with the secondary use of data. It is perfectly legitimate to use a heart attack study and look for secondary effects like cancer, weight gain, etc.. as long as the events are captured and controlled for. Why wouldn't it be?

You mention "power" which I assume you mean statistical power which has nothing to do with evaluating these studies. Power calculations are used to determine if you should bother to do the study in the first place (what are you chances of detecting an effect). They detected an effect so who cares about the power calculation.

And finally, when you see reports that a certain drug / treatment / lifestyle does or does not work over a number of various and sundry studies, it means that the value of the treatment / drug / lifestyle isn't all that much. In other words, the effect is just barely over the noise floor.

No, it doesn't mean this at all. It is actually better to have more data and more studies to draw on. This effect is all the more striking because the effect is actually quite large.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (1)

pepty (1976012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39445565)

It is not important that these are secondary effects, there is nothing wrong with the secondary use of data. It is perfectly legitimate to use a heart attack study and look for secondary effects like cancer, weight gain, etc.. as long as the events are captured and controlled for. Why wouldn't it be?

obligatory XKCD: [xkcd.com] You can certainly use data on secondary effects, but it's a lot more dicey to draw conclusions from it.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (4, Informative)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443339)

Naproxen Sodium is not to be taken daily for a long term or it can cause kidney problems. I know someone who found this out the hard way after taking it daily for over a year. Maybe she should have read the warning about consulting a doctor about long term use and the directions to stop taking it after two weeks.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444791)

Naproxen Sodium is not to be taken daily for a long term or it can cause kidney problems.

Thank you, I didn't know that. Glad I don't hurt every day.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443401)

Death prevents cancer. Try that, but it's only a suggestion, not a recommendation.

Re:Goddamn Futurism "Reporting" (5, Informative)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443219)

100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

Hmmm, that's odd, this "news" story reads like one of those ads trying to sell me something. Is this ancient Chinese secret or midwest housewife research?

Maybe you like it straight from 'The Lancet': Short-term effects of daily aspirin on cancer incidence, mortality, and non-vascular death: analysis of the time course of risks and benefits in 51 randomised controlled trials [thelancet.com], Effect of daily aspirin on risk of cancer metastasis: a study of incident cancers during randomised controlled trials [thelancet.com], and Long-term effect of aspirin on colorectal cancer incidence and mortality: 20-year follow-up of five randomised trials [thelancet.com].

The NY Times [nytimes.com] also reported on these studies. Some of the findings of these studies found were that after five years the risk of dying of cancer was reduced by 37 percent among those taking daily aspirin, that over six and a half years, on average, daily aspirin use reduced the risk of metastatic cancer by 36 percent and the risk of adenocarcinomas by 46 percent, daily aspirin use reduced the risk of progressing to metastatic disease in patients with colorectal cancer.

It was found that the risk of bleeding in aspirin users diminished over time, and that the risk of death from brain bleeds was actually lower in the aspirin users than in the comparison group.

Contraceptive. (5, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442925)

It's also a good contraceptive, according to Rush Limbaugh.

Re:Contraceptive. (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442957)

I'd like to establish a control set for Rush's experiment. I beleive that it is actually his "personality" which is the mechanism preventing fertilization.

Re:Contraceptive. (1, Funny)

sorak (246725) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444373)

AC is right. Foster Friess said it's a good contraceptive. Rush said that anyone who uses contraceptive is a slut. So the summary must be suggesting that anyone over the age of 45 become a slut, for health purposes.

But destroys your liver (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39442953)

I'd rather avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs (like tylenol/acetaminophen).

Re:But destroys your liver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443007)

... but acetaminophen is a liver toxin...

Re:But destroys your liver (5, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443075)

I'd rather avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs (like tylenol/acetaminophen).

Acetaminophen's not an NSAID, since it has hardly any anti-inflammatory effect at all. Still something that should IMO be avoided -- aspirin's actually a lot healthier and safer for most people -- but it's important to know what class of drugs you're actually dealing with.

Re:But destroys your liver (4, Informative)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443379)

Acetaminophen's not an NSAID,

Furthermore, as far as I know, it's only Acetaminophen (Tylenol) that has been shown to potentially cause liver failure using regular 2 x 325mg doses, and only when taken with alcohol over a period of a few days. The articles I've read about liver failure from NSAIDs have been from using high(er) doses of Ibuprofen or Naproxen - both of which are stronger than Aspirin - continuously over a long period of time, like for arthritis pain control. But, IANAMD.

Re:But destroys your liver (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443431)

Aspirin is not harmless either. About 10,000 Americans a year suffer gastric bleeding due to aspirin. There is absolutely a tradeoff to be made here. Don't go on aspirin therapy without fully considering the risks.

Aspirin is useful for suicide too (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443919)

I had a friend who wanted to commit suicide by taking 500 aspirin.

But after the first two he felt better.

Re:But destroys your liver (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444045)

Agreed! Maybe the reason aspirin users had less cancer is because they died from ulcers first.

Re:But destroys your liver (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444345)

First, tylenol isn't an NSAID. Second, wikipedia says that aspirin only affects the liver of 20% of children who take it in high doses. If aspirin destroyed your liver mine would have been gone in 1971 when I took huge doses daily for arthritis; it was the only effective drug (for me) back then. I'm amazed I never got a stomach ulcer.

Acetaminophen, otoh, has a bad effect on the liver even in lower doses, and in everyone regardless of age.

There are far better reasons to avoid aspirin; it isn't for everyone. But liver damage from low doses isn't one of the risks.

Theory of anti-cancer mechanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442969)

Patients die of GI bleeding before the cancer can get them.

Re:Theory of anti-cancer mechanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443021)

In other news: Suicide Helps Prevent Cancer!

Re:Theory of anti-cancer mechanism (2)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443169)

That's why they say to take low doses. I recently had a TIA and the doctor told me I should take a dose of baby aspirin daily (81mg). 81mg isn't enough to cause GI bleeding.

uhhhh....no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39442995)

Yeah....last I heard there was actually 0 factual evidence that aspirin even does anything to help prevent heart attacks by taking it daily. I hear that if you have nothing better, taking it "during" a heart event can help....but the whole daily thing is pretty much unproven to any meritable degree.

Re:uhhhh....no (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443071)

I think the idea is that if you have aspirin in your system during the attack, then you have better odds. If you take it every day, then you have a chance of having aspirin in you system at the time of the heart attack.

Re:uhhhh....no (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443197)

Read the article. They have a very plausible reason why aspirin could help with various forms of cancer.

Re:uhhhh....no (2)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444565)

The idea of a daily aspirin regimen is that ASA is a mild anti-coagulant, so you won't have sizable clots forming and finding a section of narrowed/hardened artery to block.

Stop listening to observational studies (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443053)

Observational studies are almost always behind these news reports. Please ignore them. They don't prove causation. Here's some detailed analysis from the latest "red meat causes x" articles to get an idea why they're so unreliable:

http://garytaubes.com/2012/03/science-pseudoscience-nutritional-epidemiology-and-meat/ [garytaubes.com]
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/will-eating-red-meat-kill-you [marksdailyapple.com]
http://waroninsulin.com/nutrition/is-red-meat-killing-us [waroninsulin.com]

Re:Stop listening to observational studies (2)

jcaldwel (935913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443129)

I thought the exact same thing. I'm usually pretty skeptical of any "wonder drug" claims, so I tried "following the money" to see if it was funded by Bayer or something similar, and I noticed the abstract said:

Funding: None [thelancet.com]

This surely means that this study probably consisted of data mining, and that's about it. That's enough to establish correlation, but correlation != causation.

Re:Stop listening to observational studies (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443299)

Yes, because it's perfectly possible that getting cancer in the future causes you not to take Aspirin today.

Re:Stop listening to observational studies (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444611)

It could possibly be that what causes you to take the aspirin (pain, fever, heart disease) prevents cancer, and taking aspirin is just a side effect of the cause of the reduced cancer risk, and not the cause itself.

However, it's probably likely that it's the aspirin itself. But you would need more study to be sure.

Re:Stop listening to observational studies (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39445249)

Yes, it could be a third factor, but as you say, probably not. Either way, it's something interesting. Observational studies are useful because they let us look at things that are very difficult or impossible to do any other way and they give us interesting correlations to examine further, and frequently very probable causal relationships.

Re:Stop listening to observational studies (1)

samazon (2601193) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443713)

But red meat IS KILLING US. *cough* I remember the days when I argued with people about the lethality of smoking, and won several (formal) arguments about correlation vs. causation re: lung cancer and smoking (essentially, at the time, there was no scientific proof of causation). I am one who enjoys arguing about things for the sake of proving a point (which is that she who has the best evidence, wins, regardless of common knowledge/social mores) - but this is ridiculous. I'm sick of people telling one another what they should do/be/eat/whatever to maintain a socially acceptable standard of health.

New studies show that .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443063)

"New studies show" is the work of the Devil - figuratively speaking.

I don't know what to say. I don't think - no, there SHOULDN'T be a regulation against bullshit scientific reporting and I don't think there should be a legal mandate to force "journalists" to report "facts".

My only solution is to point out that studies show that science reporters are big dummies. There momma's are sooooo fat, that they block out the Sun.

AND studies show that scientists that skip over peer reviewed journals to make public announcements are poo-poo AND froo-froo brained people.

I have data.

*Stop this. Producing these "reports" that confuse the public and then we get nonsense about inoculations causing autism or whatever.

Please stop.

If you're that desperate for funding that you have to go all AM Radio to get it, then, ..... I don't know what to say.

Cost (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443069)

Did the study explain why daily low dose aspirin is far more expensive than a full dose? The homeopathic preparation must cost a fortune.

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443537)

Did the study explain why daily low dose aspirin is far more expensive than a full dose? The homeopathic preparation must cost a fortune.

Most low dose preparations have an enteric coating [wikipedia.org]. I think that's mostly because of this silly myth of aspirin being hard on your stomach because it's an acid. It causes upper GI bleeding, even when the acid is neutralized.

Anyway, other than an unneeded coating, there's nothing to stop you from splitting full strength pills, so you can save a few pennies a day.

Re:Cost (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443815)

Even the ones that aren't coated are more expensive. Hell, an 80mg coated pill is more than twice the price of a 325mg coated pill. The technical term is 'gouging'.

Re:Cost (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444719)

All it takes is a kitchen knife, simply quarter the full dose with it and you have a dose that costs 1/4 of the high dose.

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39445269)

And break the coating, vastly increasing the risk of gastro-intestinal problems.

COCKS AHOY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443095)

now I don't have to worry about colorectal cancer

With government healthcare, expect more of this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443115)

With huge deficits and government healthcare, expect more of this. Suddenly, women don't need mammograms every year. PSA tests are harmful. Off-patent drugs that cost pennies a pill are suddenly the best thing to prescribe.

This is a good thing up to a point. It's a relief from the CYA medicine that gives you a $5000 workup for tennis elbow. There is of course, justifiable fear that we swing too far in the other direction and start seeing new studies that show it's OK to wait 3 months for bypass surgery.

Re:With government healthcare, expect more of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443301)

With huge deficits and government healthcare, expect more of this. Suddenly, women don't need mammograms every year. PSA tests are harmful. Off-patent drugs that cost pennies a pill are suddenly the best thing to prescribe.

This is a good thing up to a point. It's a relief from the CYA medicine that gives you a $5000 workup for tennis elbow. There is of course, justifiable fear that we swing too far in the other direction and start seeing new studies that show it's OK to wait 3 months for bypass surgery.

Well, I'm pretty sure that waiting three months for bypass surgery substantially lowers your risk of dying from cancer.

Not just aspirin! (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443205)

The Daily Mail Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show

"For years, research has shown that the Daily Mail is beneficial in preventing heart attacks. Now new studies support its ability to prevent cancer as well [heroku.com]. The studies, involving dozens of unaware readers over many decades, show reductions of cancer incidence (both short- and long-term) and mortality rate as well as a decrease in metastatic cancer. It still is not known exactly how the Daily Mail and cancer are connected, but those between the ages of 55-60 will now likely consider taking low-dose Daily Mail daily for the remainder of their lives, perhaps just the Sport section."

I'm for it. (4, Funny)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443243)

I was thinking of quitting smoking. Now I'll just take an aspirin with every cig. Problem solved!

Re:I'm for it. (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443689)

I was thinking of quitting smoking. Now I'll just take an aspirin with every cig. Problem solved!

If you take the aspirin tablet and use it to plug the filter end of your cigarette, it might actually lower your risk of lung cancer.

Your risk of choking, on the other hand...

Re:I'm for it. (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444285)

Maybe I can cram a multivitamin in there too. Goodbye cancer-risk, hello smoky nutrition! A day's worth of vitamin C, and as much calcium as a glass of milk! Yes, this plan is infallible.

Aspirin's mechanism of action IS known! (5, Informative)

Invisible Now (525401) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443261)

The mechanism, at least for colon cancer is known. Aspirin is COX 2 inhibitor. Colon and other cancers have COX 2 receptors on their cell walls. See details at: http://modernrecovery.com/news/7-latest/11-aspirin-reduces-colon-cancer.html [modernrecovery.com]

Re:Aspirin's mechanism of action IS known! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443517)

My GI and Cancer doc has me on a low dose of Aspirin (81mg) to try and prevent me from getting Colon Cancer.

I just started the process this year so I do not know if it is going to help in the long run or not, but we will see.

I am rated as an extreme high risk for Colon cancer and have been getting colonoscopies since age 30 to watch for and clear out polyps that could become cancerous if not dealt with.

Re:Aspirin's mechanism of action IS known! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39445511)

I think that you should take it easy with the Aspirin, even there is a high risk for getting colon cancer.

Aspirin is in the group of drugs called NSAID. I read about NSAIDs effects against colon cancer the first time little less than a year ago.
However, NSAIDs do have the side effect of making your stomach churn out more acid, which can cause an ulcer.

I was diagnosed with colon cancer last summer, at the age of 35. I got the tumor removed two weeks later. While I was waiting for surgery, I self-medicated myself with a daily dose of ibuprofen (another NSAID). After surgery, I was prescribed lots of diklofenac (yet another, but stronger NSAID) as pain-killer.

A few months later, I got an ulcer. I almost recovered from that with the aid of medication. I got a new ulcer a few weeks ago that I am now medicating against using stronger drugs.
I won't take NSAIDs any more. I also used to use diklofenac against migraines, but I have now switched to another drug.

Inflammation (4, Informative)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443269)

There are doctors that are going as far as to state that most ailments (heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc) are cause to some degree by chronic inflammation:
GIFY
https://encrypted.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=inflammation+and+disease&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 [google.com]

Aspirin reduces inflammation and so helps in all things inflammation related.

You should check out diet related inflammation as some (if not most) of us have poor dietary habits OR eat to much.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Inflammation (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443709)

You should check out diet related inflammation as some (if not most) of us have poor dietary habits OR eat to much.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation [wikipedia.org]

I'm sure you'll pardon me if I don't take a crowd-sourced document as gospel when it comes to health advice.

Re:Inflammation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39444711)

I'm sure you'll pardon me if I don't take a crowd-sourced document as gospel when it comes to health advice.

There's this nifty section at the end of the page that points to a whole metric fuckload of non-crowdsourced documents that went into creating the crowd-sourced version. Feel free to peruse at your leisure.

Acidity and toxins are cancer's best friends (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443295)

I read the post about the possible benefit of taking aspirin for cancer. I understand the benefits for circulation and your heart but would need alot of convincing that aspirin is beneficial in preventing cancer.

More and more health professionals are recommending drinking alkaline water and eating an alkaline diet.

My husband and I have been drinking Kangen for the past 3 years and our overall health has greatly improved because of that.

Phwaterwellness is the name of the game, plus healthy eating and good supplements, and a positive attitude and exercise and meditation.

Maybe Willow Bark instead (1, Interesting)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443305)

Aspirin is already converted to salicylic acid (I think), so you may be better off (study this) with the natural precursor 'Willow Bark', that way the liver converts the substance to salicylic acid and doesn't take a pounding from aspirin. Don't know if it works (obviously), but if I wanted to take aspirin daily, I'd take it that way instead, since it may be kinder and gentler on your system. You can die from other things besides cancer and heart disease...like a failed liver or thin blood.

Re:Maybe Willow Bark instead (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443425)

Wait, so your liver has to convert to salicylic acid AND dispose of it later? That sounds like doubling the load on the liver to me.

Re:Maybe Willow Bark instead (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444011)

Liver probably does the conversion at its leisure, instead of having the salicylic acid dosed into the blood stream all at once, but I'm just guessing. It's something you'd probably want to research, if you plan to take a dose of aspirin every day. Can't imagine there isn't a downside to either, but natural remedies tend to have less side effects and this one is so obvious (aspirin was isolated from willow bark), that it would be tough for me to ignore. I don't plan to take a daily dose of either.

Re:Maybe Willow Bark instead (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39444487)

1. Dose control. Actual medicines are dose controlled. When you take 300mg of aspirin that's what you get. Willow bark? The Willow tree doesn't care how much of this drug is present in each flake of bark, why should it? So your dose is uncontrolled. Maybe you get 25mg today and 500mg tomorrow. Is that too much? Who knows.

2. Purity. The drug manufacturer takes care to ensure your Aspirin just has Aspirin in it. Not lead leached from an old mine, not some undetermined lichen, not anything else that might be in the bark of some tree.

3. "Natural remedies tend to have less side effects" is gibberish. Most "natural remedies" that do anything at all have plenty of side effects, naturopaths just don't care (got your money already, too bad if you get sick and die).

4. It's actually the willow bark that contains salicylic acid and Aspirin that is acetylsalicylic acid so you couldn't even keep this straight

Re:Maybe Willow Bark instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39445561)

I think, that's not necessarily how it works. It could be that the precursors to aspirin which are in Willow bark are less toxic than the aspirin itself. Kind of like how the metabolites of alcohol are more toxic than the alcohol itself.

Re:Maybe Willow Bark instead (5, Informative)

mutube (981006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444695)

Aspirin is already converted to salicylic acid (I think), so you may be better off (study this) with the natural precursor 'Willow Bark'.

You've got this exactly backwards (unfortunately this was also about the only time you were 'exact' in your entire post).

If I wanted to take aspirin daily, I'd take it that way instead, since it may be kinder and gentler on your system.

So you essentially have no idea. But it being natural feels all warm and fuzzy so you will do that instead of basing your decisions off nasty pointy facts.

You can die from other things besides cancer and heart disease...like a failed liver or thin blood.

Or self-medicating with incorrectly dosed quanties of active drugs derived from an poorly regulated source.

Request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443351)

In the future with submissions of studies like this -- can we get a caption reading:
    "Studies funded by bayer or subsidiaries" or
    "Studies not funded by bayer or subsidiaries"

I read it, but the first snap thought in my head was "I bet we've got another case of conflict of interest that should probably result in throwing out the science and running the numbers elsewhere"

ASPRIN MADDNESS (1, Funny)

Bigsquid.1776 (2554998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443367)

Don't use that devil Asprin... Millions of lives have been ruined by junkies trying to "numb themselves out" with that devil Asprin. Dealers have these junkies hooked. Asprin is NOT COOL. Just say NO!

Just another hope for an easy way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443385)

This does nothing but to continue to motivate people to eat crap, leave a sedentary life and have high hopes for an extended healthy life.
Just pop in an aspirin daily and you are OK. Sure. Big Farma is so wonderful, they really care about our health, just like the food industry.

I'm 33 (3, Insightful)

DanZ23 (901353) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443433)

And I already believe in the benefits of taking an aspirin a day right now. To me there's just too much correlative evidence to conclude otherwise.

Inflammation (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443437)

Seems like a lot of maladies have a root cause of inflammation.

Re:Inflammation (2)

sackbut (1922510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444655)

Inflammation is an immunological reaction by the body to a perceived insult. The immune system protects the other cells from bacteria, viruses, etc but can be damaging to normal uninvolved areas. The insult can be physical (ie: radiation), chemical (ie: acid) or even the inflammatory cascade switched on due to a malfunction of the switching mechanism (autoimmune). Although inflammation is not the direct 'cause' of a disease (except perhaps in autoimmune disease) it is often the 'cause' of the tissue injury and body response that is noticed (ie: signs and symptoms).

The body does have an inflammatory response to most cancers (uncontrolled and uncoordinated cell proliferation).

Whew! (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443477)

I initially read that as "Aspirin Helps Prevent Career"
and became jittery as I imagined an insidious Apple or Microsoft plot to limit my potential for advancement by foisting their products on us had been uncovered.

For Further Study (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443527)

I wonder what the results are with subjects whose primary use of aspirin is to treat hangovers?

I mean, not me necessarily... just good to know, y'know?

No, really.

In other news ... (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39443655)

... a daily high (*) dose of arsenic has also been shown to prevent cancer and clogged arteries.

(*) lethal

What I find amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39443955)

is that anybody publishes a study on a drug that is dirt cheap. I don't know if aspirin would pass FDA muster today as a new drug. But I hate to think what the drug companies would claim about aspirin and what they would charge for it if it were a new drug. I take a baby aspirin a day, I have for years, I'm 56 years old. I used to take a whole aspirin as it was cheaper that way. I also take a multivitamin in case I don't eat right. Don't forget to low vitamin D and magnesium have been linked to depression and may not be provided by multivitamin.

moneymaking motherf**kers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39444101)

Bayer: Cha- CHING!

Statistical Abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39444493)

Such studies are an abuse of statistics. Using statistics to draw a conclusion about cause and effect is a nonsense. The only way to properly draw a conclusion about what aspirin might be capable of doing is to follow the actual chemistry and biology and show how and why certain things happen.

Statistics can be used to show that everybody who drinks water ends up dying. So does this mean that water causes death?

Must be research funding season again.

how aspirin and cancer are connected (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39444677)

There was a study just last year that stated the same thing about benadryl (Diphenhydramine), but that study went out on a limb and stated that by reducing the swelling the immune system was able to get into the affected area and remove the cancer. By that theory, anything that reduces swelling should reduce the chance of cancer, so why should asprin be any different?

Brought to you by Bayer AG (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39445441)

Thankfully there are no disclosure requirements for medical research, so we don't have to worry about who funded these studies.

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