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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Cancer Prevention

I'm thrilled that BigThink.com saw fit to headline my Aspirin for Cancer Prevention story today. People need to know what Big Pharma (and government agencies charged with public health) won't tell them: that the scientific evidence for anti-cancer effects of ibuprofen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs is, at this point, solid beyond reproach.

This is what cancer prevention looks like.
Drug companies and government won't tell people the facts about NSAIDs because the cancer treatment industry is a multi-billion-dollar profit-making machine too big to undercut with news of cheap, effective, well-tolerated, widely available preventive measures.

As I've reported previously, since president Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, we (in the U.S.) have spent the equivalent of approximately $10,000 in research dollars for every single person who has died of cancer in the last 40 years. One would think, given this backdrop, any drug or substance that promised even a 5% reduction in this Top Two leading cause of death would be heralded as a major advance. Not so.

The Harris meta-analysis (involving 91 epidemiological studies) published in Oncology Reports in 2005 found risk reductions, for daily takers of aspirin, of as much as 63% for colon cancer, 73% for esophageal cancer, 62% for stomach, 39% for breast, and 36% for lung cancer. If these rates are anywhere near true, the mere act of not publicizing this data means public health agencies (never mind the drug companies) are guilty of negligent homicide.

Please tell your friends and family and anyone else whose health you care about to consider the evidence for themselves and draw their own conclusions. Yes, there's a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding with NSAIDs. Yes, there's a risk of tinnitus if you take too much of these drugs. (No one's suggesting you take more than a minimal dose.) But the risk of not taking them is far worse. Don't you think?

2 comments:


  1. Kas, I alternate between Ibuprofen and aspirin for pain relief from gym work-outs and running at age 54.
    What about the recent fuss over possible liver damage from medications like IB?

    I'm one of those that gets a nasty case of tinnitus with several days of aspirin use, that's one of the main reasons for alternating.

    I'm also a big believer in eating something when I take IB...and drinking a lot of water with the aspirin. In my mind that should help these to absorb better and not burn a hole where they land down in the plumbing.

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  2. great post. With more and more evidence that it is inflammation that leads to some heart disease and some cancer, I've been taking aspirin more regularly. I find that it always comes with a mood enhancement as my middle-aged male irritability is soothed for several hours after even a small (1/2 a tablet) dose of aspirin.

    Growing up with a gastroenterologist parent, I was taught to approach NSAIDs with extreme caution because from their end (ha ha) they see the damage from too much NSAIDS in stomach, intestines, liver and kidney. This is often a trade off between severe pain from arthritis and a bleed-out from too much ibuprofen on top of other complications. These patients, I think, are taking in excess of 3200mg per day _and_ had worn out bodies. Is the medical industry cautious because of these cases?

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