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Blood Pressure Medication Can Lower Colon Cancer Risk

Colon cancer ranks third among the most common cancers and second among the top causes of cancer fatalities across the world.

Recent research has found that there are two brands of blood pressure drugs that can also help treat colon cancer.

These drugs include:

  • ACE inhibitors (Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) and
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

About the Research and Its Findings

  • The University of Hong Kong’s researchers assessed the health records of nearly 200,000 adult patients between 2005 and 2013. Compared to people who didn’t use the drugs, those who used the blood pressure drugs had a 22 percent reduced risk of developing colon cancer, three years after colonoscopy.
  • The researchers didn’t include anyone with a prior colon cancer history. The benefit was particularly evident among patients aged 55 and above and those who had a history of polyps.
  • In three years after conducting a clean colonoscopy, there was already a low risk of developing colon cancer even though cancer can develop within this duration.
  • Patients exhibited a powerful protective effect against cancer, especially after a colonoscopy tested negative. Otherwise, the effect only lasted for the first three years.
  • The research was published in the Hypertension journal, illustrating that these drugs don’t reduce the colon cancer risk, but rather, help to prevent the colon cancer that may come immediately after colonoscopy.
  • Moreover, the study reveals that experiencing positive results depends on how long the patient uses the medications. In other words, those who use the drugs for longer benefit more.
  • After a clean colonoscopy, every year of using the drugs saw a 5% reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer within three years.

If commonly prescribed medicine were repurposed to help prevent colon cancer, the impact would be significant, said Dr. Raymond Townsend, the director of hypertension program and medicine professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Hospital.

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