The pancreas is an organ in or body of vital importance, and yet; it is one that we don’t often think about. It isn’t uncommon to hear people complain about a head cold that leaves their nose runny, a bad cough that hurts their lungs, or a bought of indigestion that leaves their stomachs feeling uneasy. However, it is often that you will hear someone say “I sure do have a sore pancreas today.”
The pancreas is responsible for producing digestives juices known as enzymes that enter the small intestine and help to break down food. It is also responsible for the bodies production of insulin which secretes into the bloodstream in order to regulate our glucose and sugar levels. Sadly, however, the pancreas, like many of our organs, is susceptible to cancer and tumors.
Thankfully, some new research is shedding light on an old pill that might just help to slow down the spread of this and other cancer; and there is a good chance you already have some in your medicine cabinet.
For years, scientists have been aware of the positive effects that aspirin has in the fighting off of certain cancers, although the exact reason and mechanisms of this are only recently starting to be understood. In efforts to further this understanding, the latest research aims to shed some light on the way aspirin stops the spread of cancer, more specifically, pancreatic cancer.
A team of scientists from Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University has undertaken this research, and the results are certainly promising.
When taken in small amounts, aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers that affect the gastrointestinal tract, but aside from this realization, the way it does it was never fully understood. That is why the team of scientists at Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University has been making so many ripples in the medical world.
The team isolated three types of cancerous cells from the colon and pancreas and evaluated how they reacted to aspirin. The result was the non-metastatic cancer cells from both the pancreas, and colon proved to be severely affected, as their growth and replication slowed down massively.
“Our study reveals important differences and specificities in the mechanism of action of high- and low-dose aspirin in metastatic and non-metastatic cancer cells with different tumor origins,” noted the team.
This discovery opens new doors both in the prevention and treatment of certain types of cancer. And while there is still much work to be done, the medical community is optimistic that one of the oldest medicines in history might still be worth its weight in gold.