A STUDY of aspirin and cancer risk conducted among 146, 152 older adults published in December in JAMA Network Open found that taking the drug three or more times a week was -

Was associated with a reduced risk of death over all and a lower risk of death from cancer especially colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancer.

ASPIRIN, the original wonder drug, has long been a go-to-medicine for millions, a jack-of-all-trades  remedy that is readily available and cheap.

Championed for its ability to relieve pain, fever and inflammation, aspirin has been a staple in home medicine, cabinets and first-aid kits for more than a century.

Yet in recent years, its reputation has been sullied by recognition of potentially serious side effects, especially dangerous bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract or the brain.

Given aspirin's longevity and over-the-counter status, those risks are sometimes overlooked by consumers, who take it with less care than is medically warranted.

Widespread reports that aspirin can help prevent heart attacks, strokes and colorectal cancer have prompted many people to swallow either a regular or a low-dose aspirin every day without first consulting their doctors or taking their susceptibility to complications into account.

People who rely solely on aspirin's preventive abilities to or advice from friends and family may use it inappropriately, tipping the balance more toward risks than benefits.

Whether aspirin might be a miracle or a menace for you depends on knowing where you fit on the spectrum of its known benefits and risks. There is one important exception    :

If you think you are having a heart attack, immediately after calling for help, chew a regular 325 -milligram aspirin or four low-dose ones in hopes of limiting the heart damaging effects of a clot.

Unlike anticoagulant drugs, which interfere with clotting factors in the blood, aspirin works by stopping blood platelets from sticking together to form clots that can block an artery.

In people people who have already had a heart attack or stroke or are known to have seriously narrowed blood vessels feeding the heart or brain, daily aspiring therapy can reduce the risk of a future heart attack or stroke.

Men older than 50 and women older than 60 with diabetes who also have one or more other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure or a history of smoking, may also benefit from daily aspirin use.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on ''personal health and parents'', continues. The World Students Society thanks author Jane E. Brody.


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