Aspirin is a widely available over-the-counter medication that shows substantial effects at promoting survival and reducing risk of many types of cancer, plus reducing inflammation and managing pain due to inflammation.

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This section does not replicate the other information on this topic but provides additional details or context most relevant to professionals.

Modes of action: platelet activity and the NF-κB pathway

Aspirin reversed or inhibited the activity of platelets promoting colorectal or pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and metastasis.1Mitrugno A, Sylman JL et al. Aspirin therapy reduces the ability of platelets to promote colon and pancreatic cancer cell proliferation: implications for the oncoprotein c-MYC. American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. 2017 Feb 1;312(2):C176-C189; Patrignani P, Patrono C. Aspirin, platelet inhibition and cancer prevention. Platelets. 2018 Dec;29(8):779-785. 

Aspirin’s inhibition of cyclooxygenases inhibits tumor growth through modulation of the NF-κB pathway.2Chen J, Stark LA. Aspirin prevention of colorectal cancer: focus on NF-κB signalling and the nucleolus. Biomedicines. 2017 Jul 18;5(3). pii: E43. 

Further evidence 

Notable preclinical evidence is presented here. Clinical evidence is summarized in How can aspirin help me? What the research says ›

Improving treatment outcomes: preclinical evidence

  • Ovarian cancer: phosphatidylcholine-associated aspirin (aspirin-PC) showed anticancer effects in cells and reduced ovarian cancer growth by 50 percent to 90 percent in animals, with no detectable gastrointestinal toxicity; the effect was enhanced in combination with bevacizumab (Avastin) or B20.3Huang Y, Lichtenberger LM et al. Antitumor and antiangiogenic effects of aspirin-PC in ovarian cancer. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2016 Dec;15(12):2894-2904.

Body terrain (immune function): preclinical evidence

Keep reading about aspirin

Authors

Nancy Hepp, MS

Lead Researcher and Program Manager
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Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher, program manager, and writer for CancerChoices. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.

Nancy Hepp, MS Lead Researcher and Program Manager

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS

Senior Clinical Consultant
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Laura Pole is senior clinical consultant for CancerChoices. Laura is an oncology clinical nurse specialist who has been providing integrative oncology clinical care, navigation, consultation, and education services for over 40 years. She is the co-creator and co-coordinator of the Integrative Oncology Navigation Training at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC. Laura also manages the “Media Watch Cancer News That You Can Use” listserv for Smith Center/Commonweal. In her role as a palliative care educator and consultant, Laura has served as statewide Respecting Choices Faculty for the Virginia POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) Collaborative as well as provided statewide professional education on palliative and end-of-life care for the Virginia Association for Hospices and Palliative Care.

For CancerChoices, Laura curates content and research, networks with clinical and organizational partners, brings awareness and education of integrative oncology at professional and patient conferences and programs, and translates research into information relevant to the patient experience as well as clinical practice.

Laura sees her work with CancerChoices as a perfect alignment of all her passions, knowledge and skills in integrative oncology care. She is honored to serve you.

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS Senior Clinical Consultant

Reviewer

Barry D. Elson, MD

Integrative physician and CancerChoices advisor
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Barry D. Elson, MD, has been practicing and teaching integrative medicine for over 40 years. He has been the medical director of Northampton Wellness Associates, adjunct faculty for Touro University College of Medicine, medical director at Commonweal, and professor of medicine at the Pacific College of Naturopathic Medicine. He recently retired from clinical practice and has been providing freelance medical consulting. He is an avid biker, cross country skier, and sailor. He currently resides in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts.

Barry D. Elson, MD Integrative physician and CancerChoices advisor

Maria Williams

Research and Communications Consultant
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Maria Williams is a research and communications consultant who brings over 15 years’ experience in research, consumer education, and science communication to CancerChoices. She has worked primarily in public health and environmental health.

Maria Williams Research and Communications Consultant

Last update: November 8, 2022

Last full literature review: September 2021

CancerChoices provides information about integrative in cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocial therapy, and acupuncture therapies and self-care lifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.

Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.

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