Patients who have had colorectal cancer may reduce their risk of suffering a recurrence by taking an aspirin daily, according to a new study conducted by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill physician and colleagues around the United States.
The study showed that subjects who took 325 milligrams of aspirin each day had a 35 percent lower risk of developing polyps in their colons during the period examined than did patients who received an inactive placebo. Polyps are considered precursors to most colorectal cancers. A report on the findings appears in the March 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. More than 100 medical centers and clinics throughout the United States participated in the study.
"From both animal research and observational studies, weve recognized for a long time that aspirin might decrease the risk of colon cancer," said Dr. Robert S. Sandler, the studys principal investigator. "To find out whether aspirin really worked, we needed a randomized trial where we could compare aspirin with a placebo. With the help of a large consortium of hospitals and a large number of patients, thats what weve done. "
David Williamson | EurekAlert!
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