Recent randomised controlled trials indicate daily low dose aspirin may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 20%. Aspirin is currently prescribed or self-administered regularly to prevent heart disease. Considering wider population-based chemoprevention against colorectal cancer, a greater understanding of community use, compliance, adverse effects, and patient awareness is required. We performed a prospective observational study on aspirin use in our local population to examine these issues.
Prospective data collected using questionnaires over a six month period from every patient attending surgical clinic at our hospital.
Aspirin: 137 patients; male: 72, female: 65. Mean age 65.8 years (range: 23-100). 76.6% were taking aspirin 81mg. 32.9% did not know what dose they were taking, 5.8% were taking a dose over 300mg. 62% of patients were taking aspirin on physician advice.
25.6% of patients stated they never missed a dose of aspirin, 39% admitted to missing doses, 3% never took it.
5.8% reported side effects.
Only 9.5% were aware of the anticancer effects of aspirin.
Non-aspirin: 383 patients; male: 135, female: 248. Mean age 53.3 (18-90).
1% used aspirin in the past and ceased treatment.
4.7% knew of anticancer effects.
Mean ages differed significantly (unpaired t-test, p
Patients on aspirin in our community are older, with less co-morbidities and concurrent medication use. Overall awareness of anticancer effect was suboptimal, physician involvement in this area is low. Over 40% of our patients are non-compliant with treatment. These results have implications for any potential use of aspirin for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Gurpreet Singh Ranger
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.