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Daily aspirin lowers cancer risk

7th December 2010

A study has suggested that taking aspirin every day could reduce the risk of dying from many common cancers.

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Researchers at Oxford University found that taking 75mg of aspirin on a daily basis reduced deaths from cancer by 20%.

The study, which was published in The Lancet, looked at 25,000 patients, most of whom were located in the UK.

Aspirin is already used to reduce the risk of people in danger of heart attacks and stroke. However, in healthy people it has been shown to heighten the danger of bleeding in the stomach and intestines.

The most recent research has shown that people given aspirin during the trial had their risk of dying from cancer cut by a quarter and death from "any cause" reduced by 10%.

Patients took aspirin for four to eight years, and the study showed that it continued to protect patients for 20 years.

The overall risk of death from cancer was cut by 20% over 20 years, and by 40% for bowel cancer, 30% for lung cancer, 60% for oesophageal cancer and 10% for prostate cancer.

Cancer Research UK said the study was "promising". Ed Yong, head of health information and evidence, said: "We encourage anyone interested in taking aspirin on a regular basis to talk to their GP first."

 

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