Medical

Taking Aspirin Daily Increases Risk of Cancer

risk of cancer
Image: Lynn Greyling (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)

Since its introduction in the market, Aspirin has been one of the most common drugs taken specifically by older adults to maintain health and lower the risk of health conditions including cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. However, recent research on the drug shows its disadvantages outweigh the benefits. Now, another study adds that aspirin may also raise the chances of having cancer in adults.

In the past few years, various studies have changed the stance on aspirin. Previously, a low dosage of the drug was commonly prescribed to older adults even by doctors particularly to those who are more likely to develop heart-related conditions.

Now, researchers have noted that instead of decreasing the risk, taking aspirin on a daily basis can have the opposite effect and may actually contribute to the chances of developing heart issues. Therefore, health professionals are now asking people to not take aspirin especially without any prescription and recommendation from a doctor.

The stance on the drug was further clarified when the American Heart Association stated that it does not suggest taking the aspirin unless given by a doctor for any health issue for treatment of a medical issue. Taking aspirin without getting a checkup can cause more harm than good especially in the long-term.

Secondly, the findings of the new study, which are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), further add that taking aspirin not only damages heart health but can potentially increase the risk of cancer in adults.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed data of around twenty thousand adults from the US and Australia. According to the findings of the study, the drug not only increased risk of cancer but also raised the chances of cancer spreading to other organs and parts of the body.

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However, even though the study suggests the aspirin is indeed harmful to health, a part of the medical community states that there is still a lot of confusion regarding the drug. Where multiple studies show its disadvantages, some also concentrate on its benefits.

For instance, research that appears in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology shows that taking a low dosage of aspirin on a daily basis did indeed help some adults lower their risk of developing heart disease.

Additionally, some pharmacists also argue that the effects of the drug could be different in people in accordance with the differences in time periods they took aspirin. So, there is a need for further investigation on the drug with a much bigger and larger cohort.

In the meantime, experts suggest talking to a certified health professional before starting or leaving any kind of drug including aspirin. People should not take aspirin or any other drug without consultation especially those with existent health conditions as it may indeed increase risk of cancer or heart disease.

After an overall medical examination, only a doctor can tell whether the benefits of the drug outweigh the potential harms or whether a person should be taking aspirin on a daily basis or discontinue it immediately.

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Abeera I. Kazmi

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