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Daily aspirin cuts bowel cancer death risk

25th April 2012

Cancer Research UK has given a cautious welcome to new research that claims there are benefits from aspirin to bowel cancer patients.

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Published in the British Journal of cancer, the Dutch study suggested that bowel cancer patients who take daily aspirin could cut their chance of dying from the disease.

While acknowledging that the study added to the growing evidence about the benefits of aspirin, the charity said it had not yet reached the point where it would recommend people start taking aspirin to reduce their chances of developing cancer.

Sarah Lyness from Cancer Research UK said: “There are still questions we need to answer about the side effects, such as internal bleeding, who might benefit most from taking aspirin, who might be harmed, what dose and how long people some people might want to take it for.

“Anyone thinking of taking aspirin to cut their risk of cancer should talk to their GP first. People with cancer should be aware that aspirin can increase the chances of complications before surgery or other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, and should discuss this with their specialist.”

The study looked at 4,500 bowel cancer patients living in The Netherlands and researchers found that taking aspirin for any length of time after diagnosis cut the chance of dying from bowel cancer by 23%.

Lead researcher Dr Gerrit-Jan Liefers, of the Leiden University Medical Centre, said: “Our work adds to growing evidence that aspirin not only can prevent cancer from occurring but if it is there it can help prevent it spreading.”

 

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