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Medicine Science

Aspirin Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show 132

kkleiner writes "For years, research has shown that aspirin is beneficial in preventing heart attacks. Now new studies support its ability to prevent cancer as well. The studies, involving tens of thousands of participants over many decades, show reductions of cancer incidence (both short- and long-term) and mortality rate as well as a decrease in metastatic cancer. It still is not known exactly how aspirin and cancer are connected, but those between the ages of 45-50 will now likely consider taking low-dose aspirin daily for the remainder of their lives."
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Aspirin Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show

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  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:24PM (#39443251) Homepage

    This has been going on for years - low dose aspirin either helps or it doesn't help.

    Here's a couple of take home messages - the canonical study would be to see if low dose aspirin helps you live longer (live 'better' would be a much more useful metric, but pretty much impossible to do). IIRC, the studies that looked at that did not find any benefit from aspirin.

    Second - all of these aspirin / cancer link studies have been pulled from aspirin and heart disease studies - these were secondary effects and the studies neither designed nor powered to ask whether or not aspirin was useful for cancer prevention. When you do this, you are pretty much at the mercy of people who purport to understand statistics much better than the vast majority of folks. Lies, damned lies and .... statistics.

    And finally, when you see reports that a certain drug / treatment / lifestyle does or does not work over a number of various and sundry studies, it means that the value of the treatment / drug / lifestyle isn't all that much. In other words, the effect is just barely over the noise floor.

    Don't worry about it, you're gonna die anyway.

  • it's actual, real life, scientific research - published in a well read and respected peer reviewed medical journal.

    I've got no problem with the original research being legit. I have a problem with the original research showing that for this historical data it statistically linked aspirin to reducing the risk of cancer. It didn't show that these people who took aspirin were also more likely to take supplemental vitamins nor did it attempt to show exactly how the aspirin worked its "miracle." Was there a control group? You have to understand that the reason I'm "wee weeing" (whatever the hell that means) singularity hub is that they took totally legit level headed scientific research and they jumped all the way up to this:

    100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

    Now let me ask you, where in the research did it "show" in anyway how this prevents cancer? And the article itself was only worse. It's a statistical study on historical data and from your PBS link, they did it right:

    How Aspirin May Help Prevent Certain Kinds of Cancer

    Do you see the difference here? These singularists or futurists or whatever the hell you want to call them take this, which is like 50% and bump it all the way up to 100% and make it a universal truth. Then they extoll this about how they're living until the end of time and people get caught up in this. It's ridiculous and, yes, I'm going to call this out when I see it. I do call that half-truths and I do call that misinformation. We can be more clear about this and the people PBS interview are.

    That part about the 114 year old man? That wasn't misinformation? The lead in that that was all you need? I was out of line to get annoyed by that?

  • I'm 33 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DanZ23 ( 901353 ) <> on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:43PM (#39443433)

    And I already believe in the benefits of taking an aspirin a day right now. To me there's just too much correlative evidence to conclude otherwise.

  • Re:I'm for it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:06PM (#39443689)

    I was thinking of quitting smoking. Now I'll just take an aspirin with every cig. Problem solved!

    If you take the aspirin tablet and use it to plug the filter end of your cigarette, it might actually lower your risk of lung cancer.

    Your risk of choking, on the other hand...

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling