Aspirin is commonly used for pain relief, doctors may also recommend a patient takes a regular low dose of aspirin to help prevent heart attacks or strokes as it can help stop blood clots forming.
NICE do not recommend aspirin as a brain tumour treatment. The research below relates to liquid aspirin. This is different from soluble aspirin that you can buy over the counter.
You should tell your healthcare team if you decide to take aspirin as it has a blood thinning effect which makes bleeding more likely and is a risk pre and post surgery.
Cancer Research UK are currently funding a trial to see if a low daily dose of aspirin could help to prevent some types of cancer returning. There are some risks in taking aspirin regularly, including strokes, bleeding and stomach ulcers, and researchers need to know if the benefits of taking the drug regularly outweigh the risk of taking it. The trial is for people who have had breast, bowel, stomach, prostate or oesophagus cancer. You can read more about the trial here.
Until the results of the trial are available, it is advised that patients do not start taking over the counter aspirin medications without consulting their oncologist.
In early lab tests on cancer cells from brain tumours from adults and children, results show liquid aspirin combined with other ingrediants to be up to 10 times more effective than chemotherapy at killing brain tumour cells.
In its liquid form, aspirin is able to cross the blood brain barrier, which makes scientists believe that it could have potential to be combined with other drugs to form treatment for brain tumours. However, it is difficult to produce a completely liquid aspirin and aspirin that is described as 'soluble' actually contain tiny particles of the drug.
Although early results seemed promising, further research is needed before a clinical trial can be considered .
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