Taking an aspirin a day may lower cancer risk.
Individuals took a minimum of 75mg a day of aspirin for 6 years. Twenty years later, these individuals had a 24% lower risk of developing colon cancer in the first place, and a 35% lower risk of death from colon cancer as compared to placebo.
This was especially important because the some of the cancers studied are found in a part of the colon that is not easily seen with current screening tests.
The populations studied were males at cardiovascular risk. Forty percent of the patients were smokers and most were males. Therefore, the effectiveness of aspirin for non-smokers or females is not known.
“Cross-talk” between cancer and immune cells.
We have long known that there is “cross-talk” between cancer and immune cells. Immune cells affect the growth of cancer cells and cancer cells affect immune cell inflammatory responses.
Inflammation and Cancer.
Studies have shown that patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease, are more likely to develop gastrointestinal cancers than the general population.
Inflammation of the gut occurs with the release of inflammatory cytokines and other immune molecules. They have been shown to contribute to the development and growth of gastrointestinal cancers.
Aspirin regulating immune balance.
Thus aspirin may be helping to regulate the body’s inflammatory responses, and helping to keep the body in immune balance, immune homeostasis.