Dr Oz: Should You Take A Daily Aspirin To Prevent Cancer?

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Dr Oz: Daily Aspirins Prevent Cancer?

Can a daily aspirin really prevent cancer? Aspirin is commonly used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever, but now a panel of medical experts has recommended a daily aspirin as a way to prevent some forms of cancer. Aspirin is already used by nearly 40% of American adults over 50, to prevent cardiovascular disease. Evidence has shown that daily use of a low-dose aspirin could also be a great weapon against gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer.

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Colorectal is the third most common cancer in the United States, taking close to 50 million lives last year alone. But people have to take aspirin at least 5-10 years in order to be protected. The recommendation isn’t for everyone, however, which is why the reports have caused even more questions and confusion.

Dr Oz: Should You Take A Daily Aspirin To Prevent Cancer?

Dr Oz discussed the new daily aspirin recommendations to help his viewers figure out if a regimen was right for them. (okfn / Flickr)

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Dr Oz: What Happens When You Take A Daily Aspirin

Dr Oz turned to his audience, and one woman shared that she had been taking a daily aspirin since 1997 because she has a family history of heart disease. Another woman was also put on a daily aspirin, although she didn’t have any present heart problems. Dr Oz welcomed one of the women down to a model that he put together. He explained that blood is supposed to clot when you experience an injury, but you don’t want a build-up or else it can cause blockage of the arteries.

If you take an aspirin, it thins you blood, which is good if you have clogged arteries or are at risk for a heart attack, but is bad if you have something like a stomach ulcer. You have to figure out what risk is worth it to you.

Dr Oz: Taking A Daily Aspirin

Dr Oz welcomed Dr Roshini Rajapaksa, who explained that she was actually torn about the recommendation. She said the recommendation is based on science, having followed 130,000 patients over 32 years. They found that 10 years of aspirin use did reduce the risk of colon cancer by 25%, which is pretty impressive. Dr Raj said she sees the side effects of taking a daily aspirin, however, which include ulcers, gastritis, or bleeding.

Dr Oz: Is A Daily Aspirin Regimen Right For You?

Dr Raj explained that you really have to talk to your doctor to determine if you’re at risk for heart disease or colon cancer. You also have to consider your risk for those stomach issues, as well as if you’re already taking a blood thinner which could pose an additional risk. There is one question that you need to ask your doctor: “should I take a daily aspirin to prevent cancer or heart disease?”

Do you currently take a daily aspirin? Have you talked to your doctor about beginning an aspirin regimen?

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