Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Aspirin the Wonder Drug?

The order of phone calls sadly seems to go from oncologist to patient, and then patient to me.  Why?  A terminal cancer diagnosis has been given, and the patient realizes that the will they have been thinking about on and off for years really needs to happen.  And happen soon.

As a result I spend a good deal of time working with cancer patients.  And when our meetings are over and the work complete, their stories bounce around in my mind.  Because of my work and their disease I may think about cancer more than your average 39 year old mother of two small children.  Thankfully my thoughts generally fall into the category of "what can I do to prevent this from happening to me anytime soon?"

Lovers of the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, as I am, know that really there may be very little one can do.  Sometimes life simply happens.  But there are certainly some small steps one can take to decreases the chances of an oncologist visit.  And it appears daily aspirin may offer hope.

This morning I read a piece from the NY Times, without noting the authors name.  For the most part I was nodding my head in agreement; not so much for the call for government regulation of activities, but yes to the idea of spreading the word that the 2,000 year old drug aspirin appears to offset everything from heart disease to cancer.  When I got to the end I saw the writer's name and instantly remembered his book on my bookshelf.  Dr. David B. Agus' book The End of Illness was profiled in an alumni magazine of mine, and I read it earlier this year.  Readers of this blog will remember my review.

According to this op-ed piece, daily aspirin was shown to reduce the risk of lung, colon, and prostate cancer by 46 percent.  Possibly a surprising fact; most people have some awareness of aspirins role in preventing heart attacks, but the cancer link is new.

For those of you wondering why don't cardiac patients don't make up more of my clientele?  They do, on the probate side -- I serve them after they have died.  Cancer is often something one has time to plan for.  Heart attacks remain the number one killer of women in America, but often happen out of the blue, taking with them any chance for planning and organization.

And now I am off to get a bowl of oatmeal and then a short walk before launching into the rest of my day.  If you have a favorite way to promote healthy living in your life, please share.  And thanks for reading.

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