Aspirin use may prevent cancer
Sunday 31 January 1993
When American scientists set out to discover the extent that aspirin reduced deaths from heart attacks, they found that among the aspirin-takers there were fewer deaths from bowel cancer.
Newcastle University researchers are about to embark on a Europe-wide project to see if prescribing aspirin could reduce the chance of getting bowel cancer.
The pounds 300,000 survey, funded by the EC, will cover 14 countries and follow 200 people, initially until the end of 1995. Half will take aspirin and half a placebo. All will be tested once a year.
To speed the survey, researchers will concentrate on a special group suffering from a rare genetic defect which makes them susceptible to bowel cancer, a condition known as polyposis.
John Burn, Professor of Clinical Genetics, said: 'If we just used a simple cross section of the population, most would be unlikely to develop polyps, or lumps on the lining of the large intestine, which can lead to cancer.'
Most people who develop bowel cancer do so in their late fifties or sixties. People with polyposis, caused by a defective gene known as the APC gene, tend to show the first signs of disease in their teens.
Professor Burn said: 'Normal people aren't affected by the cancer until later in life because the first, non-malignant stage is so long. With the APC gene defect, people miss out on that first stage. It's as if they go straight on to stage two, where the cells start to make mistakes as they divide, which can lead to malignancy.'
This form of cancer is treatable by removing a section of the large intestine. Aspirin could, in some cases, make surgery unnecessary, or delay it for several years.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We have an urgent requirement fo...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
£55 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We are looking to recruit two ...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...