Investigating aspirin use to prevent bowel cancer or its progression
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Investigating aspirin use to prevent bowel cancer or its progression

Jacqueline Aston Bank staff nurse, NHS Borders, Melrose, Roxburghshire

Jacqueline Aston examines current evidence on the effects of using this drug to treat patients

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, causing significant physical and psychological effects on patients and families. Treatment costs the NHS in England approximately £1.1 billion a year. Research has suggested that aspirin, a common and inexpensive non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, may prevent bowel cancer. Recent laboratory and animal studies have provided encouraging results on the use of NOSH-aspirin in preventing disease progression. This compound releases nitric oxide and hydrogen sulphide as it breaks down and protects against gastric damage, unlike plain aspirin. Nurses should be aware of the emerging evidence on use of aspirin in bowel cancer prevention and progression. However, a human trial is necessary to determine safety, efficacy and optimum dose.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 13, 3, 28-30. doi: 10.7748/cnp2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 14 March 2013

Accepted: 07 March 2014

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