Current Colorectal Cancer Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 1–8

Tipping the Balance: Benefits and Risks of Aspirin in Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer

Prevention and Early Detection (N Arber, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11888-012-0151-4

Cite this article as:
Thiagarajan, P. & Jankowski, J.A. Curr Colorectal Cancer Rep (2013) 9: 1. doi:10.1007/s11888-012-0151-4


Convincing evidence now exists to support a clear role for aspirin in the chemoprevention of gastrointestinal malignancies, in particular colorectal cancer. Although much of the data comes from large-scale epidemiological studies, recent randomised controlled trials have added statistically robust evidence to corroborate a beneficial effect of aspirin in the paradigm of chemoprevention, providing a promising avenue for further research into its long-term benefits in this context. The current evidence favours low-dose aspirin: 75-300 mg for 10 years or more in patients at high risk of colorectal cancer is optimal. These putative benefits must be viewed in the light of aspirin’s well-established myriad of side effects, including gastrointestinal and intracerebral haemorrhage. The complex risk–benefit profile of aspirin in general and specific populations is considered in this review.


Colorectal cancerChemopreventionAspirin

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GastroenterologyQueens Medical CentreNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Digestive Disease CentreLeicesterUK
  3. 3.Department of OncologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  4. 4.Centre for Digestive DiseasesQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK