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Do the benefits out weigh the risks?

Never out of the limelight for very long, Aspirin again makes a debute and with this drug comes the double-edged sword of whether to take it or not. There have now been so many studies on Aspirin that we are now facing studies about the studies. This may seem nonsensical but analysing analysis is what we as medical experts are required to do when a second opinion is sought.

The study led by Professor Jack Cuzick from Queen Mary University of London identified that whilst there are side effects which should not be overlooked, there were a range of benefits to taking Aspirin and that some benefits were greater than others. This simply highlights the task of General Practitioners when obtaining informed consent to prescribe Aspirin to a patient. As with every medical intervention, this is not without its risks and people can die from taking Aspirin if not properly advised and monitored.

    Key Facts of the Queen Mary University study

  • 200 studies into Aspirin were examined;
  • Reduced the number of cases and deaths from bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancer by 30-40%;
  • Less effective at reducing breast, lung and prostate cancer;
  • Aspirin must be taken for at least five years continuously to derive benefit;
  • If you are over 50 then take 75mg Aspirin every day for a decade;
  • If everyone over 50 did this then there would be 122,000 deaths prevented over a twenty year period;
  • In the same twenty year period there would be an estimated 18,000 deaths from side effects too.

It is important to remember that a responsible practitioner will share such information with their patient prior to commencing Aspirin, as they should with any medication. Drinkers, smokers, those on other blood thinning medication and with blood disorders should be given extra consideration as to whether they should be prescribed Aspirin.

It is the easiest thing in the World to tell a patient to take an Aspirin a day – but not if it kills them. The expert analysis of chronic illness prevention requires a very detailed review of the medical information available and claims may fail for many reasons but with the right medical expert some of these cases can definitely be worth pursuing.

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Dr Grant Charlesworth-Jones

Dr. Charlesworth-Jones not only holds dual qualifications in both medicine and law but also continues to practice both.

He is up to date with the latest medical education and the most recent legal cases and understands what you need from an expert witness probably more so than any medical expert witness or legal expert. Dr. Charlesworth-Jones, whilst qualified in two professional disciplines, understands his role as an expert and never strays beyond that when he is instructed as an expert.

View Dr Charlesworth-Jones Professional Profile or Email your question to him here