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Use of Aspirin and NSAIDs to Prevent Colorectal Cancer [Internet]

Use of Aspirin and NSAIDs to Prevent Colorectal Cancer [Internet]

Evidence Syntheses - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US)

Version: March 2007


This systematic review examines the evidence for the effectiveness of aspirin (ASA) and non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (non-ASA NSAIDs), including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, for the prevention of colorectal adenomas (CRAs), colorectal cancer (CRC), and mortality in asymptomatic individuals. The review also examines the harms associated with the long-term use of these agents, as well as their cost-effectiveness in the setting of chemoprevention.


CRC is a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Chemoprevention with ASA or NSAIDs is one possible strategy to reduce the burden associated with this disease. The results of this report suggest that such a strategy may be effective, but also that the possible harms of chemoprevention and its cost effectiveness have to be considered. New data regarding the effectiveness of chemoprevention using COX-2 inhibitors are likely to become available in the upcoming year, and our understanding of the CV harms of these agents and of non-ASA NSAIDs is evolving.

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