Researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have conducted a study which suggests that painkillers could lower the risk of developing colon cancer. It seems that only a tiny dose of painkillers each day can save you from this condition.
The research team monitored a group of participants in the study who were administered low doses of aspirin for at least five years. The scientists established that a low dose of aspirin meant between 75 and 150 milligrams. Another group of participants took NSAIDS, meaning non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. The study did not look into how a high dose of painkillers could influence the participants’ health.
It was observed that those participants who took aspirin experienced a decrease in the risk of developing colon cancer of 27 percent. Those who took NSAIDS saw a 30 to 45 percent decrease in the risk of developing this condition. Both in the case of the participants who took NSAIDs and those who took aspirin the scientists observed that short-term or irregular use of the drugs did not have protective effects
Co-author of the study professor of medicine Dr. John Baron from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in Chapel Hill said that the protective effects are indeed amazing and the study proves how everyday medication can turn to be unexpectedly useful. However, there are also certain risks, he remarked. According to Baron the researchers should not recommend such drugs as a way to prevent cancer. At least not until discussing things thoroughly with a doctor.
According to FDA (the United States Food and Drug Administration) the possible side effects of such a treatment could include higher risk of stroke and heart attack and gastrointestinal bleeding with aspirin. This may occur as a result of high-dosage or long-term use of both NSAIDs and aspirin. Baron himself acknowledged that this is risky:
For aspirin, you would have to take it fairly consistently, meaning at least every other day, for at least five to 10 years for the protective effect to even begin to appear That’s a significant amount of time for side effects to accumulate, all without getting any benefit.”
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