Can Aspirin Help in the Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is one of the scariest forms of this disease to be diagnosed with. With an estimated survival rate of less than 10 percent at the five-year mark, this cancer claims about 41,000 American lives each year. Some 53,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. With no routine screening tool available for widespread use and rather vague symptoms at its onset, pancreatic cancer is generally only diagnosed in its later, less treatable stages. New research, however, is indicating that a very common, over-the-counter mediation may offer hope in the fight. It seems that aspirin may have the properties necessary to slow the spread of this disease and colon cancer, as well.
Recent research has added to a growing body of evidence that low-dose aspirin use may help in the battle against pancreatic, colon and certain other forms of cancer. While researchers have noted aspirin has an impact on preventing or slowing the spread of these forms of cancer, they are still not entirely sure just how it works. The study found that aspirin was especially effective on non-metastatic cancer cells taken from both colon and pancreatic tumors. The growth and replication rates were slowed dramatically when cells were introduced to aspirin. The possible cause of this effect may be the manner in which aspirin is known to stop blood platelets from stimulating cancer growth.
While the jury is still very much out on the possible benefits low-dose aspirin use may have in helping pancreatic cancer patients, researchers say the findings are quite positive. New lines of study into this topic may include using aspirin as a possible preventative for those at high risk for pancreatic cancer. As for the medication’s use in treatment of diagnosed disease, researchers did not its effects on metastatic cancers were not as positive. Even so, for those diagnosed early, aspirin may someday serve a role in helping combat the disease.
Pancreatic cancer is not the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease, but it is among the deadliest. While researchers continue to seek out new ways to diagnose and treat this disease, people at risk can take steps to help themselves. Those at high risk, for example, are strongly urged to talk with their healthcare providers about this disease and any potential screens that might be in order. Risk factors include diabetes, family history of the disease, chronic pancreatitis and obesity. Addressing risk factors that can be affected by lifestyle change is also strongly recommended.