There is evidence supporting the negative association between aspirin/non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use and colorectal cancer risk however, a new study suggests genetic differences, particularly two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at chromosomes 12 and 15, play a role in this association. The case-control study recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from 5 cohort and 5 case-control studies that started between 1976 and 2003. They exclusively involved participants of European descent and were conducted in the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany. Confirming previous studies, this study observed a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in participants who used aspirin/NSAIDs regularly versus those who did not and a greater risk reduction in those with the aforementioned SNPs. Although the data are not conclusive they may allow for more targeted therapies based on an individual’s genetics in the future. What are some risks associated with aspirin/NSAID use? What other strategies can help reduce colorectal cancer risk?
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