Nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are better than aspirin or nutritional supplements for the prevention of recurrent adenomatous neoplasia after colon polyp removal, a study published in The BMJ has shown.1

Because most colorectal cancers develop from advanced adenomas or adenomatous polyps, preventing their recurrence is an effective strategy for colorectal cancer prevention. Therefore, researchers at the Mayo Clinic, working with a team of collaborating scientists from across the country, sought to determine the effectiveness of NSAIDs, aspirin, and various nutritional supplements on the growth of advanced adenomas.

Although the effectiveness of these products has been studied, their effectiveness in comparison with each other was not known. Therefore, in this meta-analysis, the researchers reviewed data from 15 randomized control trials, including a total of 12,234 patients and comparisons of aspirin, low-dose and high-dose, and NSAIDs; calcium; vitamin D and folic acid; each alone or in combinations.

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Their findings showed that nonaspirin NSAIDs are better at preventing recurrence of adenomatous polyps within 3 to 5 years after initial polyp removal than the other interventions reviewed in this analysis.

However, nonaspirin NSAIDs may not be a best option for some patients because of other health risks from these agents. Although low-dose aspirin ranked second in this comparison, its preventive benefits came with much less additional risk; therefore, it may be a better option for these patients.


1. Young EZ. Colorectal cancer prevention: a proven benefit of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [news release]. Mayo Clinic web site. Posted December 19, 2016. Accessed December 30, 2016.