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Sunday 24th June 2018

Aspirin stops bowel cancer

11th May 2007

A study published in the Lancet has shown that taking aspirin every day can prevent the development of bowel cancer.


A team from Oxford University has shown ingesting 300mg of aspirin every day for five years provided protection against the cancer. Over 16,000 people in the UK die from the disease each year.

The study looked at information from previous research involving 7,500 people in the UK. In the initial study, subjects had taken 300, 500 or 1,200mg of aspirin per day, or a dummy pill, for five to seven years.

The subjects' progress was monitored over a 20 year period and deaths from bowel cancer were recorded. Researchers state that it takes a minimum of 10 years to see the effects of taking aspirin, as it takes that amount of time for pre-cancerous growths to develop into cancer.

The researchers saw that ingesting 300mg of aspirin - one tablet - every day for five years lessened the occurrence of bowel cancer by 74% in the following 10 to 15 years.

Using aspirin over many years is generally not encouraged due to possibility of bleeding in the stomach, but the team said it could help people at high risk of developing bowel cancer.

Rob Glynne-Jones, chief medical advisor to the charity Bowel Cancer UK, commented: "This is very interesting and it certainly confirms what we already know and believe about the links between aspirin, polyps and the development of bowel cancer."

"However, these findings are not an indication that the general population should rush out and take what is a high dosage of aspirin on a daily basis."

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