Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Studies Link Daily Doses of Aspirin to Reduced Risk of Cancer

Taking aspirin every day may significantly reduce the risk of many cancers and prevent tumors from spreading, according to two new studies published on Tuesday.

The findings add to a body of evidence suggesting that cheap and widely available aspirin may be a powerful if overlooked weapon in the battle against cancer. But the research also poses difficult questions for doctors and public health officials, as regular doses of aspirin can causegastrointestinal bleeding and other side effects. Past studies have suggested that the drawbacks of daily use may outweigh the benefits, particularly in healthy patients.


“What really jumps out at you in terms of prevention is the striking 75 percent reduction in esophageal cancer and a 40 to 50 percent reduction in colorectal cancer, which is the most common cancer right now,” Dr. Rothwell said. “In terms of prevention, anyone with a family history would be sensible to take aspirin,” he added.

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