Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aspirin Helps Colorectal Cancer Patients

Colorectal cancer patients who took aspirin had a much better chance of surviving than non-users, even after being diagnosed, according to a new study. The study, written by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is being published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. An abstract is available online.

"The improvements in outcomes were striking," wrote The New York Times' Roni Caryn Rabin. "Patients with colorectal cancer who regularly used aspirin before and after a diagnosis were almost one-third less likely to die of the disease than non-users. Patients who initiated aspirin use only after a diagnosis did even better and had half the risk of dying from the cancer, possibly because of differences in their tumors."

The patients were all being treated for nonmetastatic, or localized, cancers, and were followed for almost 12 years on average.


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