Friday, December 17, 2010

Aspirin: 21st Century Anti-Cancer Wonder Drug?

Ever since the late 19th Century anti-pain medication became a heart attack and stroke preventive of the 1980s, is aspirin now poised to become the 21st Century’s anti-cancer wonder drug?

By: Ringo Bones

Ever since German chemist Felix Hoffman was credited for “inventing” acetylsalicylic acid – better known as aspirin – back in 1897, little did he know that his non-steroidal anti-inflammatory “wonder drug” also has the capacity to cure other ailments; Ever since gaining status as an over-the-counter pain medication when it was first sold without prescription back in 1915, aspirin was primarily use as a general pain reliever. It was a far better alternative than its contemporaries at the time – i.e. heroin-based preparations like laudanum, etc. Then the 1980s came and another use for aspirin was found – heart attack and stroke preventive when taken at low daily doses. And as recently as 2010 during a recent medical research study, aspirin is found out yet again as a viable cancer preventive when taken at low daily doses. But will aspirin yet again gain fame as the 21st Century’s latest anti-cancer wonder drug?

Aspirin’s newly-discovered anti-cancer properties were recently found out in an Oxford based medical research team who recently published their findings in the medical journal Lancet as recently as December 2010. The research showed on a study of conducted on 25,000 volunteers / test subjects aged 50 to 75 who took 75 milligrams of aspirin a day for 4 years have shown to have 25% lower risk of developing the most common forms of cancer. Basing on the resulting data they got so far, the researchers interpolated that if their test subjects continued taking aspirin at the “recommended” 75 milligrams a day for 20 years, they could also statistically reduce their cancer mortality rate by 20%. The research is still on-going, but will this eventually prove that aspirin is also an anti-cancer drug and not just a general non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killer and a heart attack and stroke preventive?

If aspirin was discovered much later – when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and related pharmacological regulatory bureaus were already established, aspirin would never get approved for human use due to it’s very broad effects – good or bad. And even though it is already well established that low daily doses of aspirin has been “recommended” as a heart attack and stroke preventive for almost 30 years now, it is this very property that you should consult your family doctor / general practitioner before embarking on a low daily dose of aspirin because it could be dangerous if one has a pre-existing condition of chronic bleeding and ulcers due to aspirin’s blood-thinning properties. If your doctor gives you the green light to take aspirin in supplement like low level daily doses, you could well lowering your risk in getting not just cancer, but also heart attack and strokes as well – not to mention a proven non-narcotic pain reliever for over 100 years.

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