Colon Cancer Prevention: What Works?

October 1, 2013

A 50-year-old woman who has average risk for developing colorectal cancer undergoes a routine screening colonoscopy. Results are normal. She inquires about which medication she can take to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Based on the US Preventive Service Task Force, which of the following should be recommended?

A 50-year-old woman who has average risk for developing colorectal cancer undergoes a routine screening colonoscopy. Results are normal. She inquires about which medication she can take to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Based on the US Preventive Service Task Force, which of the following should be recommended?

A. Aspirin
B. Hormonal therapy
C. Statins
D. None of the above

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Answer: D--None of the above

Although some studies have demonstrated a reduction in colon cancer with aspirin and other NSAIDs, theUS Preventive Service Task Forceconcluded that the harms of aspirin (eg, bleeding, hypertension, kidney damage) outweigh the benefits. Conflicting data exist regarding hormonal therapy and colon cancer risk; this medication cannot be recommended for this purpose. Finally, there is no hard evidence that statins reduce colon cancer risk.