Aspirin May Cut Cancer Deaths
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health and Lifestyle report.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a popular expression in the United States.
It may be a common saying, but it is not scientifically confirmed. However, a new study adds to evidence that suggests taking a small amount of aspirin can help to keep the doctor away.
Researchers have known for some time that a small daily dose of aspirin can be good for your health. Aspirin can lessen the risk of developing heart disease and even colon cancer.
New findings suggest the painkiller may also increase survival in cancer patients by up to 20 percent. That is, if those patients are receiving chemotherapy as a cancer treatment. Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells.
Peter Elwood is with Cardiff University's School of Medicine in Britain. Forty years ago, he was involved in the first study to explore the effects of aspirin in the prevention of heart disease.
Elwood's team examined 47 studies for evidence that aspirin helped cancer patients. And they found some.
"And there's fairly consistent evidence of a 15 to 20 percent reduction in death and a reduction in metastatic spread, by low dose aspirin."
By low dose, he means 81 milligrams.
The study followed cancer patients for five years.
Elwood says the evidence is strongest that aspirin delays death among colorectal cancer patients. His team found that aspirin also helped people being treated for breast and prostate cancer.
The reason appears to be the chemical salicylate. Elwood says many people have small amounts of salicylate in the body.
In about 20 percent of patients, researchers have found a genetic mutation that may interact with the chemical. The mutation is known as PIK3CA. This change in the structure of genetic material could explain the reduction in colon cancer.
Elwood says he was excited with the study's findings. He adds that it is not a cure but a small sign of better things to come, what he calls a glimmer of hope and encouragement.
"Well, I feel very gratified because given the diagnosis of cancer. It's not a cure but it's a glimmer of hope and encouragement to them. So, I am thrilled to have this evidence from the study."
Elwood says that if doctors told him he had cancer, he would not delay in taking aspirin once a day. But he says that decision is up to the individual.
"If you asked me personally what I would do if I had a diagnosis of cancer, I would say I would have no hesitation in taking it. But I do not recommend it to people. I want them to have the evidence and take (make) their own decision."
The only major risk is that aspirin can cause stomach bleeding. But Elwood says it is usually does not cause death. He adds that the evidence points to big health benefits of taking a daily aspirin. So, for some people, the pros might outweigh the cons.
Elwood and his team published the findings in the journal PLoS One.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.keep away 远离
I want to keep away from the world while I am here.
2.a small amount of 少量的
We need a small amount of fuel.
3.known for 因...而闻名
Qimen is well known for its black tea.
4.heart disease 心脏病
There's a high incidence of heart disease there.
1.Forty years ago, he was involved in the first study to explore the effects of aspirin in the prevention of heart disease.
involved in 卷入；参加
In addition to my studies, I got involved in lots of extracurricular activities.
He is involved in gambling and prostitution rackets.
2.In about 20 percent of patients, researchers have found a genetic mutation that may interact with the chemical.
interact with 与...相互作用
You cannot interact with others if you do not follow the social morality.
t is extremely important that you actively interact with the faculty during the laboratories.
虽然这句俗语人尽皆知，但却未经科学证实 。然而最近一项研究显示，服用少量的阿司匹林也许真能让你远离医生 。
早前，研究人员就已发现服用少量阿司匹林有益健康 。阿司匹林能降低心脏病甚至直肠癌的发病率 。
最新研究显示，阿司匹林止痛片能将癌症患者的存活率增加20% 。换言之，如果患者采取化疗方式治疗癌症 。化疗所用的药物会杀死癌细胞 。
彼得·埃尔伍德（Peter Elwood）供职于英国卡迪夫大学医学院 。四十年前，他参与了阿司匹林预防心脏病功效的首次研究 。
为了搜集阿司匹林对癌症患者有益的证据，埃尔伍德和其团队对47项研究进行了调查 。他们确实发现了一些证据 。
埃尔伍德表示，强有力的证据表明阿司匹林可以降低直肠癌病人的死亡率 。他的团队还发现，阿司匹林可以治疗乳腺癌和前列腺癌 。
根本原因在于化学水杨酸 。埃尔伍德表示多数人体内都含有少量的水杨酸 。
研究人员发现，20%的患者体内产生与水杨酸这类化学物质有关基因突变 。这种基因突变被称为PIK3CA 。遗传物质结构突变或许能够解释直肠癌发病率降低的原因 。
埃尔伍德称，他对这项研究结果异常兴奋 。他说虽然这并不能完全治愈癌症，但却是个好预兆，他称其为“一丝希望和鼓励” 。
“我感到很满足，因为对那些被诊断为癌症病人来说，虽然这一研究不能完全治愈癌症，但也带来了一丝希望和鼓励 。能从研究中得出如此有力论证，我非常激动 。”
埃尔伍德说，如果医生诊断他得了癌症，他会毫不犹豫地每天服用阿司匹林 。但他表示是否这样做还得由个人决定 。
“如果你问我得了癌症会怎么做，我会毫不犹豫地服用阿司匹林 。但我不建议别人也这么做 。我希望他们有充分的理由并自己做决定 。”
阿司匹林唯一的缺陷是会引起胃出血 。但是埃尔伍德指出胃出血并不致死 。他还补充说，有证据表明每日服用阿司匹林对健康有极大的好处 。因此，对某些群体来说利大于弊 。