Earlier this year, “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
After his initial treatment, the cancer aggressively reappeared. Now he says he's come to terms with the fact that the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is around 10%.
Risk factors include smoking, obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, cirrhosis or hepatitis B, toxic chemical exposure, a family history of the disease, and chronic infection with H. pylori.
Clearly, you want to avoid pancreatic cancer.
The good news is that taking an aspirin a day may help.
A 2016 study found that a daily aspirin regimen may reduce your chance of developing pancreatic cancer by 50%.
But does that mean folks at risk for pancreatic cancer should take a daily aspirin?
It depends on things like your heart health. The new heart-attack prevention guidelines for daily aspirin (81 mg) help balance the risk of internal bleeding or ulcers with aspirin's far-reaching benefits.
If you've had a heart attack, take aspirin as prescribed — always with half a glass of warm water before and after.
For people ages 50 to 59 with a 10-year risk of more than 10% for developing cardiovascular disease, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends daily aspirin.
If you've never had a heart attack and don't have risk factors, or are over 70 and never had a heart attack, you can skip the daily aspirin, unless you're concerned about cancer.
Then talk to your doctor about taking low-dose aspirin.