A 60-Second Habit That Colons May Love

Medically reviewed in February 2021

Research shows that a simple 60-second daily habit might help people of a certain age lower their risk of colon cancer. The quick trick? Popping a low-dose aspirin.

Although daily low-dose aspirin certainly isn't for everyone, new research suggests that middle-aged people on this kind of therapy may have as much as a 25 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

Ask before you leap
In studies, daily low-dose aspirin also appeared to slash the likelihood of dying from colon cancer—by about 35 percent. And aspirin cut the risk of cancer in the proximal colon, where it's harder to detect, by a whopping 70 percent. But before you start popping, know this: Daily aspirin therapy is one of those habits that can lower the risk of some health conditions, like stroke or heart attack, but raise the threat of others, like ulcers or brain bleeds. And the benefits only apply to certain age groups. So no one should start daily low-dose aspirin therapy without first having an in-depth conversation with a doctor.

More good colon moves
Research suggests that aspirin may help prevent colon cancer by hampering an enzyme that causes cancer-cell-supportive inflammation. But it's just one of many potential ways to help protect the colon from cancer. And even in small doses, aspirin makes it harder for blood to clot. So while you talk to your doctor about your options, consider these other colon-protective steps you could take:

  • Don't die of embarrassment—get the screening that could save your life.
  • Cut down on red meat.
  • Take your Omega-3s.

Find out about all of the tests that can help detect colon cancer.

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