Last week, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a draft recommendation supporting the use of aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease and colon cancer in certain patients aged 50 to 69 years.
The drafted evidence review will replace the USPSTF's 2007 recommendation against the use of aspirin as a preventative drug. The revaluation was brought about by an increasing body of recent research suggesting a link between aspirin use and reduced colon cancer risk.
The reviewers gathered and analyze data to answer several important questions regarding the safety and effectiveness of aspirin as preventative medicine. Some of these questions included:
- Does regular aspirin use reduce colon cancer mortality and/or incidence?
- Does the effect of aspirin vary by dosage, duration, or recency of use?
- What are the harms or benefits of regular aspirin use for the prevention of colorectal cancer?
As it stands, the draft recommends that adults aged 50 to 59 years use low-dose aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer if taken for 10 years.
The recommendation emphasizes that taking aspirin to prevent colon cancer is a personal health decision that requires evaluation of both benefits and potential hazards specific to each individual. Such a decision should be made with a primary care physician's opinion in mind.
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