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"Aspirin reduces risk of colorectal cancer in women: Study"

Vancouver Sun

Source: Vancouver Sun

Published: 24 Aug 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

TORONTO -- Women who took two or more doses of ASA or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs per week significantly reduced their risk of colorectal cancer, a major study has found.

Furthermore, the study of more than 80,000 women found that those who swallowed 14 or more tablets of ASA or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) per week on a consistent basis over 10 years had the lowest risk for developing colorectal cancer, said lead author Dr. Andrew Chan.

"What that suggests is that women who used Aspirin at the highest doses had approximately a 30 to 35 per cent reduction in risk compared with women who used no Aspirin," Chan, a specialist in gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said Tuesday from Boston.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This story reports on a study, of which results suggest that aspirin use may decrease the chance of colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, there is no mention of the absolute magnitude of the benefit (on colorectal cancer) or of harm (gastrointestinal bleeding) so any decision as to what these results mean to an individual is impossible to determine.

This story is borderline disease mongering, because lack of baseline risk level information allows over-interpretation of the findings. Further, there is no specific attempt to discuss strength of evidence although it is somewhat implied by "80,000 patients". Quantification of benefits is relative only.

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