(WASHINGTONPOST) — The staples of your medicine closet — aspirin, ibuprofen and other pain relievers — have been in the headlines a lot lately, and it's no surprise that many consumers are confused about how these pills can affect your body.
The latest news is about how taking low-dose aspirin may cut your risk of colon cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths— in the United States. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
The aspirin-colon cancer link sounds intriguing, but where is this idea coming from?
Advertisement - story continues below
A study published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine used data from Danish databases to analyze the health histories of patients. Researchers compared 10,000 colon cancer patients diagnosed between 1994 and 2011 and between the ages of 30 and 85 with 100,000 cancer-free individuals and found that people who took low-dose aspirin or a class of medicine known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs regularly and for a long time had a much lower risk of colon cancer.