New info about aspirin preventing spread of cancer

Hi all.

Got one of my regular emails from Cancer Research UK to members, which referred to a recent Daily Express article.

This article shows that aspirin can prevent spread in certain patients with colon cancer. As you will know from my previous posts, aspirin and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) like ibuprofen, which I am taking, can prevent cancer of various types, and can prevent spread in cancer patients (some, not all). This adds to the evidence of this. It is heartening as it specifies a dose of 80mg per day.

Other studies have shown that 75mg aspirin daily is beneficial, ie one small aspirin per day, not the large 300mg aspirin daily. So low dose aspirin is certainly beneficial in some cancer patients. Good news for those of us who are taking aspirin, or ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to try to prevent recurrence.

For more info on this, please see my other posts. For those of you new to the site, I am a retired GP who has primary peritoneal cancer, a variant of ovarian cancer.

Best wishes.

Eileen xx

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30 Replies

  • Thanks Eileen, I'm definitely going to take NSAIDs with my oncologists agreement once my chemo has finished. Find this quite exciting that a cheap over the counter drug could be the answer to having a longer remission. Not sure if I'm going to take ibuprofen or aspirin yet. My GP is not convinced at all and doesn't want me to take them so I am pleased my oncologist has agreed.

    Hope you are keeping well, sending you my best wishes Ally xx

  • Glad your oncologist agreed.

    Am keeping well, next blood test, CA125, at end of October.

    All the best to you.

    Eileen xx

  • Hi Eileen,

    As you are aware I am in favour of taking daily aspirin and have the approval of my oncologist.

    My ca125 remains at 8 15 months post chemotherapy.I will never know if the aspirin has had a beneficial effect but I feel it's worth persisting with it.

    Anne x

  • I am sure it is.

    All best wishes.

    Eileen xx

  • As I think I've told you before, I had been on 75 mgms of aspirin for years before I was diagnosed, but because I had a couple of other major risk factors (stress, HRT for more than 5 years) it's impossible to say what its effect was. I am now on ibuprofen TID 400 moms, having gone thru' diclophenac and naproxen. I am really very confused about what I am taking, because I take a few other very carefully chosen supplements as well and, whilst my oncologist initially told me that nothing but traditional and novel anti cancer treatments work, he is now telling me not to change anything...

    Whilst it's fairly well established that anti-inflammatories have an impact on cancer, the actions of other drugs/supplements and so on is not nearly as clear. E.g. copper has a critical role in angiogenesis, in that if you are at risk of this happening (and all of us with OC are) then ideally you need to minimise your intake of copper. But copper as an essential metal is all sorts of different foods... For even a simple cut to heal properly, there has to be some copper in your body.

    I think that what is needed is a data base that is designed for clinicians but accessible to patients also that summarises briefly research studies and other info, so that we can all access it in a sensible fashion. The info is already in e.g. Medline, etc etc etc.. And multiple other websites.

    I am now on fentanyl patches to stabilise my pain. So far they are working well. But this was achieved with very great difficulties, as we Scots say, with the help of a couple of out of hours GPs and my husband driving around Yorkshire late at night to find the pharmacy which closed at 11pm. All this via 111, which is causing me, the entire NHS, and hopefully the health secretary himself, the biggest headache since time began... I wonder, imagine you are an old lady with angina, a bit bewildered because your husband has died recently, and you feel creeping and needling pain around your left shoulder... 999 swings into 111 based on the tone of your voice. 111 is answered by call handlers, and not trained and experienced 999 operators or clinicians, as it used to be. God help us all...

    Best, dazed and confused Vicky

  • I agree with you re a website with basic info. Cancer Research UK actually has a lot, but sometimes you have to know what you are searching for. The trouble is that oncologists prefer lots of trials before they will advocate anything new.

    Eileen xx

  • Jim is a senior techie, with many techie underlings. He works for an international company which pays for a hospital in the country in which is was founded. It also gives a significant portion of its profits directly to charity. Oncologists are generally very cautious, but I would suggest that they can also be very defensive. The Internet has been around for I think 30 years, I started using it about 17 years ago, etc etc etc. So, oncologists have to get real. What I am suggesting is that I explain the problem to Jim, who is already well aware of what I do on the net, give him a list of the data sources I have used, you could help with that because you have expertise and qualifications that I lack, and we see what we can come up with. Best, Vicky xxx

    ps: I have just had to call 111 for the 3rd time in the last 24 hours to talk to a doctor to get my pain under control. Before 111 erupted like a volcano throughout England, Ireland and Wales, it would have taken about 5 minutes max to get a call back from the old system. Now it takes at least that amount of time to get your message through the call handlers on 111, and then you have to wait for a doctor to call you back. There is sometimes an interlude involving a clinician calling you back. I am not entirely sure why that happens, unless they are using the appropriately trained nurse practitioners, in which case there shouldn't be a need for a doctor to get involved at all, unless the question you are asking is one that the NP cannot answer because s/he isn't sure. And this is an investment in our beloved NHS??? I think it's another way of squandering its funds, taking more money away from clinicians and giving it to private companies, who are probably cackling with glee....

  • I agree. I think we still have NHS24 in Scotland, as far as I know. Glad you are on ibuprofen. Yes, I agree with you about oncologists. I find it comes naturally to some consultants to be patronising, sadly. It is easier than treating you as an equal.

    Best wishes for sorting out the pain.


    Eileen xx

  • Dear Eileen

    Thanks for this really helpful post. I shall certainly be following up your advice with my oncologist once I've finished chemotherapy.

    Hope all continues well with you.

    Love Annie xxx

  • Thanks, Annie. Yes, am well.

    Good luck.


    Eileen xxx

  • Dear Eileen ,

    Thank you so much for this , I also will look into it. I did mention it a while ago to my Macmillian nurse and she said that she would look into it , but I heard not more. I'm taking Lansoprazole anyway as have had some issues with my tummy since my surgery .I also had PPC and finished chemo in Jan 2013 ,

    Thank you , dy x

  • Cancer Research UK has some info on aspirin and its use against cancer if you look for it. It is not very pro aspirin as yet, as, as usual, they want loads of 100% proof, but what have patients like us got to lose?


    Eileen xx

  • Totally agree Eileen, but does say use with caution if on avastin which a few of us are on, but also says on avastin site that ok to use NSAID so maybe that's a good alternative. So pleased you're keep well -

    Love hilary x

  • Thanks, Hilary. I was not aware of any interaction with Avastin, as I have just not looked into that. Sounds that NSAID would be ok, as you say.

    All the best.


    Eileen xx

  • I have been taking 75mg per day with the blessing of my oncologist since stopping chemo. Would Naproxen have the same effect do you think?

  • Yes, probably Naproxen would have same effect, but I am unsure of the best dose. It is all a matter of trial and error. Would imagine that 250mg twice a day would do the trick, but not sure. 500mg twice a day might possibly be required. Aspirin seems to have been the best researched.

    Eileen xx

  • Naproxen makes me sick, so I've a dislike of that drug, it has the same effect on others that I know too, so maybe it's not as friendly as ibuprofen, I don't know why I feel so reluctant to steer towards manufactured drugs, maybe because I believe a natural alternative is out there waiting for us. Interesting article Eileen.


  • Aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, comes from the willow tree (salix in Latin), and so is a natural drug. It is a very old drug, and has been used in natural / folk remedies for hundreds of years, I believe. 75mg is a small dose, and usually causes no problems.

    Best wishes.

    Eileen xx

  • Further re aspirin. It comes from the bark of the willow tree.

    Eileen xx

  • That's very interesting Eileen-I didn't realise that.

    Glad to hear that you are well- best of luck at the next checkup.

    Anne xx

  • Thanks Anne.

    All best wishes to you.

    Eileen xx

  • Thanks for the info, Eileen. I'm glad you're doing well at the moment. A very interesting area of development. I have taken 75mg aspirin for a while now. As you said, it's one if the oldest medicines. The old village wise woman made a concoction of willow bark......amazing what these remedies are sometimes based on, like the mistletoe, ginger and turmeric. Who knows what's in them but can the world wait for extensive trialling, testing etc, when these things have been used for centuries and there are so many anecdotal ideas about them? Can they harm us? They certainly seem to help some of us.

    Love Wendy xx

  • I agree, Wendy. Glad you are taking aspirin.


    Eileen xx

  • Thanks for this useful information Eileen. Glad you things are ok with you.

    Love Mary xx

  • Thank for posting Eileen. Xxxxxxx

  • Thankyou Eileen i will definitely bring this up with my oncologist in a couple of weeks! The fact that the low dose seems to work for SOME cancers is very promising and certainly worth trying as it should have minimum side effects.

    MB x

  • Yes, indeed. Glad you will bring it up with your oncologist. I am taking ibuprofen not aspirin as I happened to be on that anyway for a chronic injury (hamstring strain) and it appeared to work. These drugs are related, and work the same way. Certainly 75mg aspirin a day is very simple. In my case I am stable on ibuprofen, and so will just stick with it, though I have to take omeprazole to protect my stomach. However it suits me. But if I were in the position of starting something now, I might well go straight to aspirin.

    Eileen xx

  • Thankyou Eileen.x

  • Eileen,

    the article is interesting. When I was dx with Stage 1V Ovarian Cover over 14 years ago, I had massive pulmonary embolisms as well. Needless to say after taking Heparin (by IV) in the hospital I took Coumadin from then onwards. After finishing treatment, about 8 months later, (and disease free), I asked my Gyn/Onc , "What about taking Coumadin?" He said, "You can stop it". So I did. However when I told my family Dr that I was no longer taking Coumadin, she nearly had a fit and insisted that I take a 325 mg coated Aspirin every day. So I did.

    Here I am 14 years later, still taking 325 mg of Aspirin every day as well as Celebrex for Arthritis, which has also been rumoured to be good for cancer prevention. I'm feeling fantastic (except for arthritic hands), walk 4 miles every day and eat a healthy diet. Incidentally, when I first started taking Coumadin (Warfarin) I was told I'd be taking it for the rest of my life, but perhaps they didn't think I'd live very long when that was said. It's good to prove folks wrong sometimes:-)

    Thanks for sharing the article ...


  • Thanks, Sandy. I remember you writing in when I did my first post re ibuprofen, aspirin etc last December, I think. Yours is a very interesting story. Don't stop either aspirin or celecoxib!

    Best wishes.

    Eileen xx

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