Pancreatic cancer may be fought with medicine as common as aspirin. A new study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, examined the correlation between aspirin use and risk of pancreatic cancer. Each year of low-dose or regular-dose aspirin therapy was linked with an additional decrease in risk for pancreatic cancer. Terminating aspirin use resulted in an increased risk.
However, the correlation does not mean that taking aspirin actually causes a decreased risk. WebMD reports that experts are cautioning that these results are not conclusive and people should not begin taking aspirin just based on this study. On the other hand, the study did show that three years of aspirin therapy was linked to 48 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer. With more research, health professionals may be able to better understand and utilize the role of aspirin in cancer prevention.
The American Cancer Society explains that the pancreas has two glands to make enzymes and hormones to break down food. The glands that make enzymes are the ones most commonly associated with tumors. While there is a small minority of tumors that are benign, pancreatic cancer comes with a dismal prognosis. The five-year survival rate is less than five percent.
Aspirin therapy offers a glimmer of hope that fewer people may suffer from pancreatic cancer. Aspirin therapy is also associated with other health benefits, as well as corresponding risks. The Mayo Clinic notes that daily aspirin therapy may be used for people at risk for a heart attack or stroke, if recommended by a physician. There are risks associated with daily aspirin use, the most common of which is bleeding in the stomach.