Peter M. Rothwell, MD, PhD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M13-1272.
Requests for Single Reprints: Peter M. Rothwell, MD, PhD, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom.
Rothwell PM. Alternate-Day, Low-Dose Aspirin and Cancer Risk. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:148-150. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-2-201307160-00013
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(2):148-150.
Most apparent medical discoveries are not subsequently confirmed, and reports of unexpected benefits of established treatments are particularly prone to being disproved. It is noteworthy, therefore, that the aspirin and cancer prevention story continues to stand up to testing, with the latest report from the Women's Health Study (WHS) in this issue (1) confirming previous observations and offering important new insights. During the 25 years since studies first suggested that regular aspirin use might prevent colorectal cancer, more than 150 case–control studies and about 50 cohort studies have reported consistent associations between regular aspirin use and substantially reduced risks for colorectal, esophageal, and stomach cancer (2). However, data from observational studies can be misleading, and evidence from randomized trials is required. About 10 years ago, randomized trials of the use of aspirin (81 to 325 mg daily) for the secondary prevention of colorectal adenomas reported a 15% to 30% reduction in recurrent adenomas (3). However, follow-up was too short to determine any effect on risk for colorectal cancer, and 10-year follow-up of the 2 largest randomized trials of aspirin in primary prevention of vascular events (the WHS and the Physicians’ Health Study) showed no such effect (4, 5).
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Hematology/Oncology, Cancer Screening/Prevention, Prevention/Screening.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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