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The Surprising Benefits of Aspirin Therapy

Aspirin can be a remedy to a multitude of temporary symptoms. We have all been saved by it on days we've had a throbbing headache, unbearable back pain, or exhausting fever symptoms, that hindered us from dealing with our daily tasks efficiently. However, as it was discovered, the power of aspirin can go beyond its pain-relieving, fever-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties. According to research, it has even shown positive effects in cancer prevention.



After recording data from 136,000 individuals over a span of 32 years, scientists in the US found that individuals who took aspirin regularly had a 3 percent reduced risk of any type cancer. While this did not prove to be very effective for the entire spectrum of cancer types, it did show promising signs for stomach and bowel cancer, the risk of which dropped by a striking 15 percent and 19 percent respectively, thanks to this drug.


Did You Know Aspirin Can Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?


Following the positive results from this research, scientists claim that aspirin is indeed beneficial for the body and its defense for cancers - or at least, some of them. According to Dr. Andrew Chan from Massachusetts General Hospital, it is recommended that individuals take aspirin if they are willing to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer, in particular. Additionally, it could offer prevention against gastrointestinal cancer, especially with regards to the family history factor, although this should be discussed with one's physician in advance.


Dr. Chan also admits that research has not yet shown certainty in aspirin's effectiveness in cancer prevention in general - and unfortunately, there's no good news for breast, lung or prostate cancer yet. However, apart from showing positive signs for a few cancers, there are also other surprising benefits one can reap from aspirin therapy, including prevention of heart attacks, stroke and dementia, and a boost in fertility. Given all these reasons, it's no surprise that millions of people in Britain make use of aspirin for its therapeutic properties.


So you may be wondering what makes aspirin so beneficial for our body? It all lies in the way aspirin affects our blood. When we bleed, our blood's clotting cells, the platelets, clump together to form a clot. A similar type of clumping action may also occur in any area of the body, where cancerous cells may be present. Basically, what aspirin does to our blood is that it reduces the clumping action of the platelets within it, in turn preventing heart attacks or some cases of cancer as a result.


According to researchers from the Cancer Research UK Center for Epidemiology at Queen Mary, University of London, taking aspirin especially in your 40's has been shown to reduce the risk of developing cancer later in life. At this age, pre-cancerous  lesions are likely to begin to develop, making it the ideal time to stop them from growing further.

Who is mostly recommended to take it?

In many cases, aspirin therapy can really work wonders in the prevention of both future diseases, or the recurrence of past diseases. Your doctor is likely to recommend aspirin therapy in the following cases:

  • If you've previously had a heart attack or stroke.
  • If you have never had a heart attack, but you've had a stent placed in a coronary artery, you've had coronary bypass surgery, or you've experience chest pain due to coronary artery disease (angina).
  • If you have never had a heart attack, but you're at high risk of having one.
  • If you're a man over 50 or a woman over 60, have diabetes, and at least one other heart disease risk factor, such as high blood pressure or smoking.


Who should avoid taking it?

There are cases in which it may be unsafe to make use of aspirin therapy. The danger arises if you have a bleeding or clotting disorder (ie. if you bleed easily), if you suffer from bleeding stomach ulcers, and of course, if you have aspirin allergy, which could even include asthma caused by aspirin.


What's the best dose?

The aspirin dose will vary from person to person, therefore, you should always take as much as is recommended by your doctor. A dose of 75 milligrams would be lower than an adult low-dose aspirin, but it can still be effective. For a typical adult dose, you are likely to be prescribed a daily dose of anywhere between 81 milligrams and 325 milligrams (a regular strength tablet). Taking 2 pills a week is a safe low dose that could contribute to positive protective benefits over the years.

If you have previously experienced a heart attack or have had a heart stent placed, it's highly recommended that you take aspirin or any other blood-thinning medications.


H/T: telegraph.co.uk / medicalnewtoday.com / mayoclinic.org

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