Taking a daily dose of aspirin helps lower the risk of colon cancer. However, a new study has found that the reduced risk of colorectal cancer is affected by a mutation of a gene called BRAF.
Colon cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. In 2008, there were 1.23 million new clinically diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer; over 608,000 people died from the disease that year.
The study, published in JAMA, identified that the association between daily aspirin use and reduced risk of colon cancer depends on specific gene mutations.
Data was collected from 2 large studies, the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which included over 127,000 people.
The researchers, led by Reiko Nishihara of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, found that those who were at a reduced risk of developing colon cancer had the "typical", wild-type, form of the BRAF gene. Regular aspirin use lowered the risk of developing BRAF-wild-type cancer by 27 percent.