With all of the new pain relief supplements that have been introduced to the market, like NSAIDS and acetominophen, aspirin is often overlooked as an old pain remedy that can cause upset stomachs. However, studies have shown that taking aspirin daily helps prevent several types of health problems in older adults. Here are two reasons you should ask your doctor if you should start taking an aspirin every day.
1. One Little Pill May Prevent Several Types of Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in adults in the US. Risk factors include eating too much red meat, having another bowel disease, and having a family history of the cancer. Studies show that taking aspirin daily can prevent this cancer in people who have risk factors for developing it.
A study on aspirin and colon cancer showed that people who took aspirin daily for five to ten years had a 40-percent lower incidence of colon cancer than people who had not taken aspirin daily during that time.
While no conclusive studies have yet shown that aspirin prevents other cancers, many medical researchers have a strong suspicion that it may also prevent lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
2. Aspirin Can Reduce the Risk of Strokes and Heart Attacks
Two major health events that can lead to death or disability in older adults are strokes and heart attacks. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping blood-pressure controlled can help ward off both, those steps are not always enough if you have a family history of either event in your family.
An easy, affordable way to reduce your risk of both strokes and heart attacks is to take one small dose (about 75 mg) of aspirin each day, although your doctor may recommend a higher dose for you. Aspirin wards off both heart attacks and strokes due to the fact that both are often caused by blood clots. When a clot forms in an artery, it can travel to either your heart or your brain. If a clot becomes lodged in your heart, it can trigger a heart attack. If it instead makes its way to a blood vessel in your brain, it can cause a stroke.
While the fact that aspirin can prevent heart attacks has been known for a few years now, recent studies have come to the conclusion that aspirin benefits adults aged 50 to 70 the most, although your doctor may recommend that you start early or continue to a later age if he or she thinks it will benefit you.
However, once you commit to aspirin therapy, you must continue taking it every day, or it can have a rebound effect once stopped, increasing your chances of heart attack and stroke.
Remember to speak to your doctor before beginning a daily, low-dose aspirin regimen to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. He or she will ensure you don't have any health problems that would make this therapy dangerous for you, and your doctor can tell you what dose is best for you. You might also consider visiting a pharmacy near you, such as Camelback Pharmacy.