The headlines say "Painkillers Prevent Colon Cancer", wait, what?? If it were just that simple; but, of course it is not.
The study in question, out of Denmark, said that continual usage of either low dose baby aspirin or non aspirin NSAIDs, reduced the risk of developing colon cancer by 27% and 30% respectively. Well, that is a significant number. But, before you go out and start taking unnecessary medications, let's look at the facts.
- This is an early study and the researchers are not recommending everyone begin taking aspirin.
- Denmark has a much lower obesity rate than the US, and obesity is a known risk factor for developing colorectal cancers.
- NSAIDs, which are drugs known as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, are strongly linked to heart disease.
- Aspirin can caused stomach and other gastrointestinal bleeding.
So, while this may sound redundant, do not start taking any medications, even over the counter drugs, without discussing it with your doctor. You and your physician, together, can determine if the potential reward is worth the risk. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer it may be time to talk to your physician at Associates in Digestive Health. Contact us here.