(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Several studies demonstrate the role of aspirin in cancer prevention, according to the authors of a recently published review article. The study, entitled “The role of aspirin in cancer prevention”, was published by Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology and appeared online April 3.

The authors made several arguments in the article. “First, current clinical guidelines for prophylactic aspirin use only consider the cardiovascular benefits of aspirin, weighed against the potential harm from aspirin-induced bleeding. Second, daily aspirin use has been convincingly shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and recurrence of adenomatous polyps, but in average-risk populations, these benefits alone do not outweigh harms from aspirin-induced bleeding.”

When secondary analyses of cardiovascular trials were published, the first randomized evidence that daily aspirin use may also reduce the incidence of all cancers combined, even at low doses (75–100mg daily) became available.

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“This Review considers the general mechanism of action that defines aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as a class, the specific advantages of aspirin over other NSAIDs for prophylactic use, the current evidence concerning the main health outcomes affected by aspirin use, and the hypothesis that inhibition of platelet activation may mediate both the cardioprotective and cancer-preventive effects of low-dose aspirin,” the authors wrote. “ It also considers how even a 10% reduction in overall cancer incidence beginning during the first ten years of treatment could tip the balance of benefits and risks favorably in average-risk populations.”