Studies Link Daily Doses of Aspirin to Reduced Risk of Cancer

Taking aspirin every day may significantly reduce the risk of many cancers and prevent tumors from spreading, according to two new studies published on Tuesday.

Drawbacks of daily doses of aspirin include a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

The findings add to a body of evidence suggesting that cheap and widely available aspirin may be a powerful if overlooked weapon in the battle against cancer. But the research also poses difficult questions for doctors and public health officials, as regular doses of aspirin can cause gastrointestinal bleeding and other side effects. Past studies have suggested that the drawbacks of daily use may outweigh the benefits, particularly in healthy patients.

One of the new studies examined patient data from dozens of large, long-term randomized controlled trials involving tens of thousands of men and women. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that after three years of daily aspirin use, the risk of developing cancer was reduced by almost 25 percent when compared with a control group not taking aspirin. After five years, the risk of dying of cancer was reduced by 37 percent among those taking aspirin.

A second paper that analyzed five large randomized controlled studies in Britain found that over six and a half years on average, daily aspirin use reduced the risk of metastatic cancer by 36 percent and the risk of adenocarcinomas — common solid cancers including colon, lung and prostate cancer — by 46 percent.

Daily aspirin use also reduced the risk of progressing to metastatic disease, particularly in patients with colorectal cancer, the studies reported.

The studies, led by Dr. Peter M. Rothwell, a professor of clinical neurology at the University of Oxford, were published in the medical journal The Lancet. A third paper by Dr. Rothwell and his colleagues, published in The Lancet Oncology, compared the findings of observational studies and randomized trials of aspirin.

There is an urgent need for clinical trials of treatment regimens incorporating aspirin, Dr. Rothwell said.

“What really jumps out at you in terms of prevention is the striking 75 percent reduction in esophageal cancer and a 40 to 50 percent reduction in colorectal cancer, which is the most common cancer right now,” Dr. Rothwell said. “In terms of prevention, anyone with a family history would be sensible to take aspirin,” he added.

But while some experts called the new findings “provocative” and “encouraging,” mounting evidence about the preventive promise of aspirin puts health providers in a quandary. Aspirin increases the risk of not just of gastrointestinal bleeding, but of hemorrhagic strokes.

The new studies, however, also found that the risk of bleeding in aspirin users diminished over time, and that the risk of death from brain bleeds was actually lower in the aspirin users than in the comparison group.

“I think he’s on to something. I just want to be cautious, and I don’t want to exaggerate,” said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. “I’m not ready to say that everybody ought to take a baby aspirin a day to prevent cancer.”

Dr. Andrew T. Chan, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-author of a comment published with the articles in The Lancet, said the studies, despite their limitations, “raise the level of excitement about using aspirin as a chemopreventive agent.”

“If you start to include the possibility that aspirin reduces the cancer risk beyond colon cancer, then the risk-benefit ratio shifts quite a bit, especially for those cancers where we have little to offer in the way of screening and early diagnosis,” Dr. Chan said.

The randomized clinical trials the Oxford investigators examined were not focused on cancer prevention; they were originally intended to study the effects of aspirin on preventing heart disease. The application of the findings to cancer prevention may be flawed, some experts said.

In the United States, two major studies of low-dose aspirin to prevent cancer did not find reductions in cancer with aspirin use. Those findings were excluded from analysis by the Oxford researchers because they involved use of aspirin every other day, rather than daily use.

Though many people use baby aspirin daily to reduce their risk of heart disease, patients are generally advised to do so only when their cardiac risk is presumed to outweigh the risks of taking aspirin. Physicians remain extremely reluctant to recommend long-term use of aspirin in a healthy population.

Some cancer doctors commended the new research, saying that despite the limitations of the analyses, no other long-term clinical trials of aspirin and cancer are likely to be done because of the enormous expense involved and the fact that aspirin is a cheap generic drug.

Source:The Newyork Times


Daily aspirin 'prevents and possibly treats cancer'

The three new studies published by The Lancet add to mounting evidence of the drug's anti-cancer effects.

Many people already take daily aspirin as a heart drug.

But experts warn that there is still not enough proof to recommend it to prevent cancer cases and deaths and warn that the drug can cause dangerous side effects like stomach bleeds.

Prof Peter Rothwell, from Oxford University, and colleagues, who carried out the latest work, had already linked aspirin with a lower risk of certain cancers, particularly bowel cancer.

But their previous work suggested people needed to take the drug for about 10 years to get any protection ,according to BBC.

Now the same experts believe the protective effect occurs much sooner - within three to five years - based on a new analysis of data from 51 trials involving more than 77,000 patients.

•           Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) has been used for many years as a painkiller. It has an anti-inflammatory action

•           Low-dose (75mg) aspirin is already recommended for people with known cardiovascular disease to prevent stroke and heart attack

•           The benefits for healthy people are still unclear

•           Aspirin can cause fatal internal bleeding, although this is relatively rare

And aspirin appears not only to reduce the risk of developing many different cancers in the first place, but may also stop cancers spreading around the body.

The trials were designed to compare aspirin with no treatment for the prevention of heart disease.

But when Prof Rothwell's team examined how many of the participants developed and died from cancer, they found this was also related to aspirin use.

Halting cancer spread

Taking a low (75-300mg) daily dose of the drug appeared to cut the total number of cancer cases by about a quarter after only three years - there were nine cancer cases per 1,000 each year in the aspirin-taking group, compared with 12 per 1,000 for those taking dummy pills.

It also reduced the risk of a cancer death by 15% within five years (and sooner if the dose was higher than 300mg)

And if patients stayed on aspirin for longer, their cancer death risk went down even further - by 37% after five years.

Low-dose aspirin also appeared to reduce the likelihood that cancers, particularly bowel, would spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body, and by as much as half in some instances.

In absolute numbers, this could mean for every five patients treated with aspirin one metastatic cancer would be prevented, the researchers estimate.

At the same time, aspirin cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes, but it also increased the risk of a major bleed.

However this elevated bleeding risk was only seen in the first few years of aspirin therapy and decreased after that.

Critics point out that some of the doses given in the study were much higher than the 75mg dose typically given in the UK. Also, some very large US studies looking at aspirin use were not included in the analysis. The researchers acknowledge both of these points in their published papers.

Prof Rothwell says for most fit and healthy people, the most important things they can do to reduce their lifetime cancer risk is to give up smoking, take exercise and have a healthy diet.

After that aspirin does seem to reduce the risk further - only by a small amount if there is no risk factor, but if there is a family history for something like colorectal cancer, it tips the balance in favour of aspirin, he said.

Prof Peter Johnson, of Cancer Research UK, said it was still a good idea for people thinking of taking aspirin to discuss it with their GP because of the possible side effects.

But he said the work was exciting and suggested aspirin might be beneficial for treating and preventing cancer, which is something the charity is exploring in its own research.

"We now need some definitive advice from the government as to whether aspirin should be recommended more widely," he said.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which issues treatment guidelines for the NHS, has not yet been asked by the government to look at the topic but a spokesman for the Department of Health said they were considering how best to advise the public about the benefits and risks of aspirin.

Meanwhile, the leader of an ongoing UK trial looking at cancers of the gastrointestinal tract said their results - as yet unpublished - suggested no preventative effect of aspirin after following patients for several years.

Professor Janusz Jankowski of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry said: "So far aspirin cancer prevention effects have not been seen in this major UK study after > 4.5 years.



Female smoking death risk 'has soared'

Women smoking nowadays are far more likely to die as a result of their habit than they were in the 1960s, according to a new study.

Changing habits such as starting earlier and smoking more cigarettes have been blamed for the dramatically increased risks of lung cancer.

The trends, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, show death rates in women have caught up with men.

The study looked at data from more than two million women in the US.

The first generation of women smokers started during the 1950s and 60s. In those early years, women who smoked were nearly three times more likely to die from lung cancer as people who had never smoked,according to BBC.

Looking at medical records from women between 2000-2010 showed they were 25 times more likely to die from lung cancer than their non-smoking friends.

It follows a similar pattern in men, who reached a similar level in the 1980s.

Lead researcher Dr Michael Thun said: "The steep increase in risk among female smokers has continued for decades after the serious health risks from smoking were well established, and despite the fact that women predominantly smoked cigarette brands marketed as lower in 'tar' and nicotine.

"So not only did the use of cigarette brands marketed as 'Light' and 'Mild' fail to prevent a large increase in risk in women, it also may have exacerbated the increase in deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease in male smokers, since the diluted smoke from these cigarettes is inhaled more deeply into the lungs of smokers to maintain the accustomed absorption of nicotine."

Research published last year suggested that lifelong female smokers died a decade earlier than those who never started.

However, those who gave up by the age of 30 almost completely avoided the risks of dying early from tobacco-related diseases with those stopping by 40 died a year younger.

Speaking after that study, Prof Sir Richard Peto, at Oxford University, said "If women smoke like men, they die like men."


The Effects of Perfume on Men and Women

Body Oils, lotions and perfumes have been used  as far back as Greek and Roman era when well-off citizens could come up with the money for massages and baths in such pleasant odor. Athletes used them to remedy their muscles prior to and subsequent to competing. The same essential oils and lotions are still used to remedy muscle tension and ease the shock that comes with sporting injuries.  Massaging body oils into muscles following exercise can disperse  the buildup  of toxins, and disperse  lactic acid.  Many men and women use them for relaxing massages,according to Homebased business advisor.

Fragrance oils have a sizable effect on our mental state and on our total body. Our sense  of smell is the single sense that  completely wired to the limbic system, our emotion  control centre and has a uninterrupted effect on it. Other senses like touch or sight, conversely, involve a lot of ‘processing’  and decoding all through the brain, before they can be understood  and bring forth a reply. This straight brain bond means fragrances have the capability to tap into our memories and influence our moods, feelings, emotions and even our mental functioning. For example, if brussel sprouts caused an inopportune gastric mishap at the Christmas dinner table when you were five, chances are the mere scent  of the vegetable will cause you to feel uncomfortable as an adult. Both men and women most commonly feel relaxed and enjoy  the presence  of scent oils. The assortment of usage is varied and includes body oils, lotions, perfume oil, shower gels etc.. Have you ever noticed how the slightest sniff of your earliest love’s scent can instantly  evoke crystal-clear memories from your past? With a memory  aptitude of somewhere between 2000 to 5000 aromas in any one individual being, its incredibly simple  to tap into someone’s subconscious  memory  with a simple scent  and bring to existence the total illustration of that innocent  love with the cute teenager when you were thirteen. 

Most commonly  women’s response on aroma oils is emotionally connected  and they are curtain in the same second whether they like the smell or not, where as to men it can have a significant array of effects depending on the personal  characteristics. A number of men like sharp and hard smells where other enjoy  a bit  more lighter smell, some  find it relaxing where others just decide whether it suits their character  or not.

Further more aroma oils are used almost in any part of the cosmetics industry, separated or mixed with other components, they are used in the creation of, Body oil, shower gels, cologne, body sprays etc.


Why Yoga Exercise is Good For You

Yoga books tell us that Yoga, as we all know, is aimed to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit. Yogis view that the mind and the body are one, and that if it is given the right yoga kit and tools and taken to the right environment, it can find harmony and heal itself. Yoga therefore is considered therapeutic. It helps you become more aware of your body's posture, alignment and patterns of movement.

It makes the body more flexible and helps you relax even in the midst of a stress stricken environment. This is one of the foremost reasons why people want to start Practicing Yoga - to feel fitter, be more energetic, and be happier and peaceful.

Yoga is a science that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is consists of Ancient Theories, observations and principles about the mind and body connection which is now being proven by modern medicine. Substantial research has been conducted to look at the Health Benefits of Yoga - from the Yoga Postures (Asanas), Yoga Breathing (Pranayama), and Meditation. The information on Yoga Poses & Benefits are grouped into three categories-physiological, psychological, biochemical effects. Furthermore, scientists have laid these results against the benefits of regular exercise.


Some of Physiological Benefits of Yoga:

■ Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium

 ■ Pulse rate decreases

■ Respiratory rate decreases

■ Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)

■ Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases

■ EEG - alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)

■ Gastrointestinal function normalizes

■ Endocrine function normalizes

■ Breath-holding time increases

■ Eye-hand coordination improves

 ■ Reaction time improves

■ Posture improves

■ Energy level increases

■ Weight normalizes

■ Sleep improves

■ Immunity increases

■ Pain decreases

Psychological Benefits of Yoga:

 ■ Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase

■ Mood improves and subjective well-being increases

■ Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase

■ Social adjustment increases

■ Anxiety and Depression decrease

■ Hostility decreases

■ Concentration improves

 ■ Memory improves

 ■ Attention improves

 ■ Learning efficiency improves

■ Mood improves

 ■ Social skills increases

■ Self-acceptance increase

■ Memory improves

■ Learning efficiency improves

■ Depth perception improves

Some of Biochemical Benefits of Yoga:

■ Glucose decreases

■ Sodium decreases

■ Total cholesterol decreases

■ Triglycerides decrease

■ HDL cholesterol increases

■ LDL cholesterol decreases

■ VLDL cholesterol decreases

■ Cholinesterase increases

■ Catecholamines decrease

■ Hematocrit increases

■ Hemoglobin increases

■ Total white blood cell count decreases

■ Thyroxin increases

■ Vitamin C increases


Compiled by: Raghda Sawas