Skip to main content
Accessibility  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms of Service

Daily Aspirin Linked to Lower Cancer Mortality

  • Published: 2012-08-11 (Revised/Updated 2014-03-02) : Author: American Cancer Society
  • Synopsis: Study of aspirin for prevention of vascular events found an estimated 37% reduction in cancer mortality among those using aspirin for five years or more.
A group of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Aspirin is used to treat mild to moderate pain, and also to reduce fever or inflammation. It is sometimes used to treat or prevent heart attacks, strokes, and angina.

Main Document

"Although recent evidence about aspirin use and cancer is encouraging, it is still premature to recommend people start taking aspirin specifically to prevent cancer."

Study adds to evidence daily aspirin linked to lower cancer mortality - A large new observational study finds more evidence of an association between daily aspirin use and modestly lower cancer mortality, but suggests any reduction may be smaller than that observed in a recent analysis. The study, appearing early online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), provides additional support for a potential benefit of daily aspirin use for cancer mortality, but the authors say important questions remain about the size of the potential benefit.

A recent analysis pooling results from existing randomized trials of daily aspirin for prevention of vascular events found an estimated 37% reduction in cancer mortality among those using aspirin for five years or more. But uncertainty remains about how much daily aspirin use may lower cancer mortality, as the size of this pooled analysis was limited and two very large randomized trials of aspirin taken every other day found no effect on overall cancer mortality.

For the current study, American Cancer Society researchers led by Eric J. Jacobs, Ph.D., analyzed information from 100,139 predominantly elderly participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort who reported aspirin use on questionnaires, did not have cancer at the start of the study, and were followed for up to 11 years. They found daily aspirin use was associated with an estimated 16% lower overall risk of cancer mortality, both among people who reported taking aspirin daily for at least five years and among those who reported shorter term daily use. The lower overall cancer mortality was driven by about 40% lower mortality from cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (such as esophageal, stomach, and colorectal cancer) and about 12% lower mortality from cancers outside the gastrointestinal tract.

The reduction in cancer mortality observed in the current study is considerably smaller than the 37% reduction reported in the recent pooled analysis of randomized trials. The authors note that their study was observational, not randomized, and therefore could have underestimated or overestimated potential effects on cancer mortality if participants who took aspirin daily had different underlying risk factors for fatal cancer than those who did not. However, the study's large size is a strength in determining how much daily aspirin use might lower cancer mortality.

"Expert committees that develop clinical guidelines will consider the totality of evidence about aspirin's risks and benefits when guidelines for aspirin use are next updated," said Dr. Jacobs. "Although recent evidence about aspirin use and cancer is encouraging, it is still premature to recommend people start taking aspirin specifically to prevent cancer. Even low-dose aspirin can substantially increase the risk of serious gastrointestinal bleeding. Decisions about aspirin use should be made by balancing the risks against the benefits in the context of each individual's medical history. Any decision about daily aspirin use should be made only in consultation with a health care professional."

Reference: Daily Aspirin Use and Cancer Mortality in a Large US Cohort , Eric J. Jacobs, Christina C. Newton, Susan M. Gapstur, Michael J. Thun. Journal of the National Cancer Institute; Published early online: August 10, 2012 [DOI:10.1093/jnci/djs318].

Similar Topics

1 : Anti-cancer Effects of Natural Alkaloid Extracted from Daffodils : Université libre de Bruxelles.
2 : Minimally Invasive Device to Treat Cancer and Other Illnesses : University of Texas at San Antonio.
3 : Pancreatic Cancer Treatment - New Discovery Paves Way : University of Notre Dame.
4 : Multi-Million-Dollar Research to Stop Cancer Ability to Spread : Johns Hopkins University.
5 : New Approach to Control Cancer Not Eliminate It : Oregon State University.
From our Treatments section - Full List (103 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : Registration now open for Turnstone Endeavor Games - April 20-22, 2018
2 : PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics: Day Eight Highlights
3 : PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics: Day Seven Highlights
4 : PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics: Day Six Highlights
5 : The Difference in Hospital Meals Around The World


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.