In a controlled study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it has been found that taking low dose aspirin regularly for a prolonged period may help to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Both men and women can benefit from a continued regimen of low dose aspirin, between 75-150mg daily, for at least 5 years. This benefit was found for both aspirin and NSAID pain relievers. Reviewing cases of over 100,000 patients, including their histories and medication usage, it was found that those who were taking low dose pain reliever
regularly for at least 5-10 years had a significantly reduced risk of developing colon cancer. It was found that those taking aspirin were 27% less likely to develop colon cancer, and those taking NSAID pain relievers were at a 30% reduced risk. However, it is important to note that the benefits began after 5 years at this dosage, and the study has not confirmed the same results with higher doses. Researchers are not yet ready to suggest that patients begin taking an aspirin regimen despite the findings due to potential risks. In some cases, usage may be recommended, however, pain relievers can lead to other problems including gastrointestinal bleeding or an increased risk for heart attack or stroke. Ideally, the patient and physician should discuss the potential risks and decide on a case by case basis whether this is advisable.