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Gastroenterology Blog

Aspirin and Colorectal Cancer

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 1:26 PM

aspirin and colorectal cancer

Aspirin has gained a great deal of attention as a multipurpose medication. The analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory properties of this substance have been used for centuries to treat a number of symptoms. It is a part of a group of medications known as NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which also includes ibuprofen, Celebrex, naproxen.


Uses for Aspirin

Modern times have continued to utilize this medication as a method to address pain, fever, and inflammation. More intensive studies into the properties of and mechanisms of acetylsalicylic acid, ASA, or aspirin, have found a multitude of additional beneficial applications in its use.

It is well known medical advice that a person suffering from a stroke or heart attack should immediately be given a dose of aspirin to aid in preventing further damage to the tissue. Patients with coronary complications, blood clot dysfunction, and certain forms of inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis have responded favorably with a regime of ASA. Recent evidence is also pointing to positive applications for individuals with colorectal cancer.

Aspirin Applications in Treating Colorectal Cancer

Cancer, especially those located in the large intestine and rectum, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It has long been held that the origin of many cancers is from uncontrolled inflammation in the body which then leads to mutation of the cells and proliferation of the diseased tissue. Aspirin, being an anti-inflammatory is believed to aid in controlling the inflammation and decrease the genesis of cancer producing cells.

ASA stands apart from many other NSAIDs because while it produces the same decrease in inflammation, it creates a longer lasting effect than any other type. The mechanisms of its capability of producing these irreversible effects is not fully understood, but shows promise for those suffering from, or with a high chance of developing, colorectal cancer.

Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

Prevention is still the primary line of defense when addressing any type of cancer. It is strongly urged that individuals participate in a regular annual examination and perform any recommended screening, such as colonoscopy. Always follow the recommendations of your physician when advised to have additional testing regarding colorectal cancer; early detection is a key factor in treatment and survival.

Before starting any type of medication regime it is important to discuss the treatment with a trained medical provider. Despite the positive indications of using ASA, there are serious side effects and contraindications for its use. One such concern is the development of gastrointestinal distress and ulcers, which is counterproductive to the attempt to protect this portion of the body. 

The doctors at Gastroenterology Associates are your best line of defense against colorectal cancer and the information provided in this article should be used as a guide.    Preventative measures go a long way with your digestive health but it must start with you!  If you have concerns regarding your digestive health, please contact us for an appointment.

Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician.    Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.

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