A review on the use of aspirin as a form of chemoprevention to reduce colorectal cancer

  • Sadiq Shanaz Peninsula Medical School
Keywords: Hereditary colorectal cancer, Chemoprevention, Aspirin, Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and colorectal cancer, Lynch syndrome


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer worldwide. Estimated lifetime risk of CRC is 5%, with an incidence of 1 million new cases and 600 000 deaths worldwideevery year. Lifestyle, dietary, and genetic factors play a crucial part in the development of colorectal cancer. Chemoprevention is a method of CRC prevention.

Aim: This review aims to identify the effectiveness of aspirin in preventing CRC in high-, moderate- and low-risk patients.

Method: Electronic databases were used to search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from 1989 to 2012 in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. The search terms employed were “hereditary colorectal cancer”, “Lynch syndrome”, “colorectal cancer”, “aspirin”, and “colorectal cancer”.

Results: Aspirin reduces the incidence and recurrence of adenoma in patients with high to moderate risk of developing CRC.

Conclusion: There is evidence which supports the use of aspirin in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer in genetically predisposed patients and moderate-risk groups. Higher doses of aspirin appear to reduce the incidence of CRC. It is unclear what the optimum dose to start is, and the duration of administration that will provide effective chemoprevention. Further research is needed to answer these questions.

How to Cite
Shanaz, S. (2014). A review on the use of aspirin as a form of chemoprevention to reduce colorectal cancer. Res Medica, 22(1), 64-75. https://doi.org/10.2218/resmedica.v22i1.763
Clinical Review Article