AN ASPIRIN A DAY…

Steve Madden" target="_blank" title="">

AN ASPIRIN A DAY…Both my mother and father died due to reasons related to cancer. My mother unfortunately was a lifelong smoker and she succumbed due to complications of her addiction to nicotine. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on 9/11/2001, so that date evokes many feelings in me. My mother’s cancer related death probably could not have been avoided considering her development of secondary complications. Interestingly, she was never diagnosed with lung cancer. My father’s pancreatic cancer appears to have been just one of those things. The bad luck of that particular celestial draw. I know as a nurse, (bet you didn’t know I am an RN) that there is a genetic component and predisposition to developing pancreatic cancers. This scares me a little so I have adopted a lifestyle that hopefully will turn the odds in my favor and that I will not develop this disease. Part of this strategy is the prophylactic use of aspirin.

That brings me to the reason for this article. I wanted to impress upon you the benefits that you can get from taking a very common medication to help you prevent the developments of some cancers. That ‘miracle’ drug is known as ASPIRIN. Yes, aspirin has been cited as possibly reducing the risk of certain cancers as well as its medicinal value in reducing some risks associated with heart disease. I take a baby aspirin daily.

Some cancers are known to develop as a result of inflammation and lo and behold, aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug. Now, other anti-inflammatories such as acetaminophen commonly known as Tylenol or Ibuprophen (Motrin) have not been identified as having the same positive effects as aspirin on these cancers. These other medications are also associated with other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), that when over used (even one time overdose), can cause liver damage. I advise caution in their use.

With the use of ALL medications, prescribed or over the counter (OTC), please consult you physician and pharmacist for the proper amount, use and appropriateness of the medication to your body’s specific needs.

I am recommending that you speak with your doctor to see if you may benefit from using a baby aspirin daily or as prescribed, to reap the rewards of this drug. If you DO NOT have any indications that would prevent you from taking a baby aspirin, there is the chance that you could benefit from this medication. Remember that ALL medications have side effects; possible food and drug interactions and you must decide if the benefits outweigh the risks (boy, do I sound like one of those commercials we all hate!). PLEASE, do your homework and study about the effects of this and all medications you are taking.  You should not adopt this single intervention in your lifestyle and good health strategy for cancer prevention. Exercise and a healthy diet may be equally effective in combating this and many other diseases.

I think that science is developing in this realm of cancer prevention and it appears that aspirin is indeed the ‘wonder drug’ that it was envisioned to be.

To your good health!

Kurt H. Leggard, RN

(Disclaimer: I do not hold any stock in any pharmaceuticals that have been mentioned in this article so I have no conflicts of interest)

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