Long-term aspirin use significantly reduced the incidence of digestive cancers, according to data presented at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona, Spain.
A matched-cohort study was conducted to compare the incidence of various cancers among patients who were prescribed aspirin for ≥6 months (average duration 7.7 years; median dose 80mg) vs. those who did not take aspirin. A total of 618,884 patients from public hospitals in Hong Kong were identified and matched from the database (206,295 aspirin users and 412,589 non-users).
Results showed long-term aspirin use cut the incidence of liver and esophageal cancers by 47%, stomach cancer by 38%, pancreatic cancer by 34%, and colorectal cancer by 24%.
The use of aspirin was also linked to a significant reduction in non-gastrointestinal (GI) cancers such as leukemia (24%), lung cancer (35%), and prostate cancer (14%), but not breast cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, or multiple myeloma.
“The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers,” said lead author, Professor Kelvin Tsoi, Chinese University of Hong Kong. “What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and esophageal cancer.”
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Tsoi, K. et al. Long-term use of aspirin is more effective to reduce the incidences of gastrointestinal cancers than non-gastrointestinal cancers: A 10-year population based study in Hong Kong. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2017.