There may be some hope for those looking to ensure they don't develop pancreatic cancer and new research suggests that could be a bit of aspirin. Aspirin, already known to help in the aftermath of a heart attack, appears to also help reduce the risk of developing the lethal form of cancer that has a near 100 percent death rate.
New research suggests regular aspirin use can reduce by as much as 50 percent the risk associated with the most lethal malignancies of the cancer.
The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal part of the American Association for Cancer Research, says taking aspirin regularly for a decade reduced the risk of developing the cancer by 60 percent.
Both men and women who took low-doses of aspirin daily, appeared to see a boost in preventing heart disease and had a dramatically lower risk of pancreatic cancer.
According to statistics, around one in 60 adults will develop pancreatic cancer, but the disease has a five-year survival rate of less than five percent, making it one of the most lethal cancers around.
"If people are already using low-dose aspirin for cardiovascular disease prevention, they can feel good that most likely it's lowering their risk for pancreatic cancer," said Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and lead researcher on the study.
"For people whose doctors have told them through studying their family history of cancer or having done genetic testing have identified that they are at higher risk for pancreatic cancer, then using aspirin might be beneficial as part of a plan to try to lower their risk."
Pancreatic cancer is so deadly that most researchers believe that only through prevention will it be possible to help bring an end. The discovery that aspirin may be a top choice for that prevention could make it cheaper and easier for those at risk to deal better with their health needs.
The National Cancer Institute says over the approximately 45,000 people who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, around 40,000 will die as a result.
Researchers did warn people should not simply go out and begin taking aspirin, urging people to consult with their doctor as well as pushing the finding that the majority of those who took a lower dosage saw a better chance at prevention.