Cancer is caused when cells in your body grow or develop abnormally. This can lead to tumors that may grow and spread, interfering with normal body function. Scientists still don’t know the exact reasons cancer develops. However, research shows that genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors may play a role.

But research is offering hope for many. Recent developments and new treatments are improving overall survival rates for some types of cancer. For the past several years, scientists have been focusing on aspirin’s effects on cancer.

Some studies have found aspirin may have potential advantages in preventing and treating some types of cancer. But there’s still much more to learn about aspirin’s role in cancer therapy.

If you’re wondering if taking aspirin might be right for you, read on to learn more about possible benefits and risks.

Possibly. This depends on many individual factors. They include:

Some studies have found that adding aspirin to chemotherapy treatments for some types of cancer, may be useful. But other research has found conflicting results. Aspirin may have limited benefits for some forms of cancer. But right now, it’s still unclear how it improves treatment regimens.

Your doctor can provide more information about the safety of aspirin use with chemotherapy. They can discuss the pros and cons of aspirin use, dosage, side effects, and other relevant information if they feel it’s right for you.

Always follow your doctor’s recommendations

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and guidance on appropriate treatment for the best outcomes. If you’re interested in what aspirin could do for you, ask them about new research on the potential benefits of aspirin for your form of cancer. Current research hasn’t proven aspirin is helpful when added with chemotherapy for every type of cancer.

Don’t take over-the-counter (OTC) products including aspirin without talking with your doctor first. This is because it might increase your risk for potentially dangerous side effects such as bleeding.

Your doctor can discuss the safety of aspirin use based on your health and other compounding conditions you may have.

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Research shows aspirin may work in several different ways to improve cancer survival. Studies are exploring whether aspirin’s anti-platelet (blood thinning) and anti-inflammatory effects slow cancerous tumor growth and spread.

There’s some indication that aspirin may be useful for certain types of cancers. For example, a 2021 review of studies found aspirin lowered the risk of death from cancer by 20 percent in those who took it.

However, currently, the advantages of using aspirin to improve overall cancer survival remain unclear. It may be helpful for some types of cancer, but could adversely affect others.

Can aspirin stop cancer from spreading?

It’s still unclear. There’s some evidence this may be possible. For example, a 2016 review of studies found aspirin may lower cancer spread in some types of cancer. However, other studies have found conflicting results on aspirin use for prostate cancer (both good and bad effects).

And a 2021 review study found taking aspirin improved breast cancer survival rates, and lowered rates of cancer returning or spreading. But scientists need more information to learn how aspirin works in stopping the spread of cancer, the best dosage, and the period of time for use.

Does aspirin reduce your risk of cancer?

Perhaps. Aspirin may lower the risk of developing some types of cancers, although it depends on individual factors.

Studies have shown taking aspirin may help in preventing colorectal cancer in some people. The benefits for other types of cancer are still uncertain.

A 2021 review of studies also found aspirin may lower the risk of breast cancer.

Larger studies are needed to better understand the benefits and complications of taking aspirin to lower cancer risk.

Aspirin is a very popular OTC anti-inflammatory medication and is used by millions around the world. It’s used to reduce pain and inflammation, and it may also be used to prevent blood clots. Side effects of aspirin with chemotherapy treatment depend on various factors, but they include:

  • your treatment medications
  • your medication dosage and frequency (how often you receive treatment)
  • your overall health condition

Some chemotherapy medications may interact with aspirin or have similar side effects which can increase your risk of serious reactions.

Don’t take aspirin without talking with your doctor first. They can tell you if aspirin is safe for you to take and the correct dosage.

Common side effects of aspirin include:

Serious side effects include:

Living with cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer can understandably cause overpowering emotions such as stress, fear, and anxiety. You or your family members may have questions about your condition and treatment choices.

Fortunately, there are many organizations and resources available to help. A few include:

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Aspirin has been used for many decades as an effective treatment for pain and inflammation. New research shows it may also have protective effects for some types of cancer. However, there’s much more to learn about any potential benefits.

Scientists still aren’t sure exactly how aspirin works to improve survival or slow the spread of cancer. Currently, it’s also unclear who may benefit, the best dosage, how long it needs to be used, and if it only works in certain cancers.

If you have questions about the advantages and risks of aspirin use during chemotherapy for your type of cancer, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about any clinical trials, and the latest research on aspirin.

Don’t take aspirin on your own without talking with your doctor or oncology team first. Aspirin can interact with other medications you may be taking. Your doctor can guide you on aspirin use for your type of cancer.