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Aspirin gets another shot at the podium
Old 03-21-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
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Aspirin gets another shot at the podium

A new study makes some interesting claims about aspirin and cancer prevention. It is apparently a meta study, not original work.


BBC News - Daily aspirin 'prevents and possibly treats cancer'
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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My doc has been trying to get me to take a daily low dose aspirin for years.
I've tried many times, but always run into the same problem. Even with the low dose aspirin, I'm subject to nosebleeds. As soon as I get in the hot shower in the morning, my nose starts gushing blood, and I'm subject to random nosebleeds at other times of the day as well. This only happens when I take aspirin. I'm sure there is a benefit, but the side effect is just too annoying for me to take advantage of it.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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I believe it enough to take aspirin, but sometimes the numbers don't seem that convincing. For example, one study shows a 25% reduction in cancers. That sounds good, but then you read that in 1,000 people 9 aspirin takers got cancer, and 12 placebo takers got cancer. That's such a small difference. Another way of stating it is that your chance of getting cancer is .9% with aspirin and 1.2% without (I haven't really looked into the studies, so I may not be interpreting it correctly).

But in this case, aspirin is so cheap, it's been used for many decades, and side effects are low for most, so why not take it?

OTOH

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16468337
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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My doctor told me to start taking it at my last appt. I bought some, but did not take any. I took my first one after hearing this last night. Now I just need to get better at taking Vit D and my calcium. I hate taking pills.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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results and outcomes aside...

My cynical-bone tells me that this will never get much press as Big Phama can't profit from it.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:55 AM   #6
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My cynical-bone tells me that this will never get much press as Big Phama can't profit from it.
You're not the only one with a "cynical bone" when it comes to things like that. I also note that almost no new medications are being created which *cure* anything; it's all stuff designed to "manage symptoms" which you have to take for a lifetime. There's a lot more money in that than there is in curing stuff.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
My doc has been trying to get me to take a daily low dose aspirin for years.
I've tried many times, but always run into the same problem. Even with the low dose aspirin, I'm subject to nosebleeds. As soon as I get in the hot shower in the morning, my nose starts gushing blood, and I'm subject to random nosebleeds at other times of the day as well. This only happens when I take aspirin. I'm sure there is a benefit, but the side effect is just too annoying for me to take advantage of it.
I stopped aspirin a few months ago for the same reason. I only get nosebleeds in the winter so I guess I should start up the aspirin again. If you ever find a solution to the nosebleeds be sure to post it.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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I tried low dose aspirin about 7 years ago based on my doctor's advice. I stopped taking them after getting a few nosebleeds. My blood pressure was higher then than it is now. I may try them again and see what happens. Maybe I won't get nosebleeds now that my blood pressure is lower.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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Hypertension is certainly listed as one cause of nosebleeds.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:03 PM   #10
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You're not the only one with a "cynical bone" when it comes to things like that. I also note that almost no new medications are being created which *cure* anything; it's all stuff designed to "manage symptoms" which you have to take for a lifetime. There's a lot more money in that than there is in curing stuff.
I agree that the profit motive and cost to bring a drug to market would seem to point that way. But I wonder of we aren't over-stating it?

We do have vaccines, and some new ones (Shingles, Gardasil, etc). They basically cure or prevent the disease (or at least have a long term effect). And it seems to me that many treatments are much more effective and less costly than they used to be (Tuberculosis?).

Could we really 'cure' high BP or high cholesterol? These seem to be conditions that probably need on-going treatment. Curing them might be like trying to 'cure' the need for A/C in Texas in summer - just some miracle one-shot deal in early spring, and the house stays cool all summer! Hard to imagine how that would work.

If there is some research pointing to a good chance of an actual cure for something, but it's clear there would be no profit motive for it for private industry, then I think that is an area where we should consider having Govt researchers step in. IMO that could be a reasonable application of the 'for the Common Good' clause.

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Old 03-21-2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
My doc has been trying to get me to take a daily low dose aspirin for years.
I've tried many times, but always run into the same problem. Even with the low dose aspirin, I'm subject to nosebleeds. As soon as I get in the hot shower in the morning, my nose starts gushing blood, and I'm subject to random nosebleeds at other times of the day as well. This only happens when I take aspirin. I'm sure there is a benefit, but the side effect is just too annoying for me to take advantage of it.
Isn't one of the risks of aspirin internal bleeding? Particularly in the stomach? I know that if I experienced nosebleeds taking aspirin I would stop. Didn't your doctor have anything to say about it?
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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Isn't one of the risks of aspirin internal bleeding? Particularly in the stomach? I know that if I experienced nosebleeds taking aspirin I would stop. Didn't your doctor have anything to say about it?
Yes, it really should be treated as drug with potential serious side effects unless you are just using it occais. for aches and pains. Surgeons often insist that you quit taking it 3 days before even minor stuff if bleeding is an issue. Regular prescription use requires "buffered" aspirin.

I would be very careful taking it every day unless your doc concurs.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:46 PM   #13
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I stopped aspirin a few months ago for the same reason. I only get nosebleeds in the winter so I guess I should start up the aspirin again. If you ever find a solution to the nosebleeds be sure to post it.
As a young child, I had the problem and suffered from nosebleeds at the drop of a hat. Here's how the problem was eliminated:
Cauterization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In my case, the doctor used an instrument that looked somewhat like a sodering iron. It took two treatments, but it worked for more than half a century (at least) ...
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:39 PM   #14
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I have taken a low-dose aspirin everyday for a number of years. As a frequent blood/platelet donor, I have to quit taking the aspirin 72 hours before a donation. So far, I have not seen any lawyers on TV offering to sue the aspirin manfacturers on my behalf.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:27 PM   #15
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I stopped aspirin a few months ago for the same reason. I only get nosebleeds in the winter so I guess I should start up the aspirin again. If you ever find a solution to the nosebleeds be sure to post it.
Is the humidity really low in your house during the winter? If so a good humidifier might solve your problem. I found the low humidity caused my sinuses to dry out and crack causing bleeding, the humidifier solved the problem.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:35 AM   #16
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Isn't one of the risks of aspirin internal bleeding? Particularly in the stomach? I know that if I experienced nosebleeds taking aspirin I would stop. Didn't your doctor have anything to say about it?
Yes, after I explained the problem, the doc agreed that it probably wasn't right for me. Guess I'll be updating my will soon.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:23 AM   #17
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Is the humidity really low in your house during the winter? If so a good humidifier might solve your problem. I found the low humidity caused my sinuses to dry out and crack causing bleeding, the humidifier solved the problem.
I assume it involves humidity (I have good BP). I have a good humidifier by the bed to no avail. I will look into Rescueme's cauterization suggestion.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #18
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why not aspirin:
http://www.biog1105-1106.org/demos/1...ch.aspirin.pdf

from T-Al's OTOH link: Lead researcher Prof Kausik Ray, from St George's, University of London, told the BBC: "If you treat 73 people for about six years you will get one of these non-trivial bleeds. If you treat about 160 people for the same period of time, you're preventing one heart attack that probably wouldn't have been fatal anyway.

alternatives to aspirin: assuming the mechanism for preventing cancer is by reducing inflammation in the body, why not reduce inflammation by reducing your intake of Omega 6 (grains, vegetable oils) and increasing your Omega 3 (cold water fish, krill oil, fish oil). Proper diet and light/moderate exercise is better than aspirin for preventing both cancer and heart disease.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:22 AM   #19
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I adopted the 83mg aspirin strategy for most of my 40s. 3 years ago my doc opined that the heart benefits were in debate but that the internal bleeding effects were pretty well known and could be insidious. He suggested I stop but he didn't take a hard stand on the issue or anything. I did stop, as it is always easier to drop a regimen than to pick one up.

At 54, my BP is still good and my apparent heart/vascular health is better than average.

When it comes a time when a physician is recommending daily statins to me - that is when I am going to have to do some research and consider my options very carefully.

My gut feeling based on folks I know and some stuff I read (not a comprehensive or balanced data set, I know...) is that expensive statins are getting popped a bit too much like Pez candy.
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