Scientists at the Queen Mary University of London have published the results of a study which claims that taking aspirin everyday can significantly reduce the risk of cancers of the digestive tract i.e stomach, bowel and oesophageal cancer.
The study published in the anals of Oncology journal found that, ‘taking a daily dose of 75-100 mg of the painkiller could cut bowel cancer cases by around 35% and deaths by 40%.’
Rates of oesophageal and stomach cancers could also be cut by 30% and deaths from these cancers by 35-50%, although evidence was incloclusive for breast cancer.
The research was based on the premise that if everyone aged 50-64 took aspirin daily for a decade, 130, 357 deaths could be prevented from cancer and 500 fewer people would die of a heart attack.
However, the report warns that taking aspirin long-term increases the risk of bleeding from the digestive tract, e.g. stomach bleeding and researchers have advised people to speak to their GP first before embarking on a regular dose of the drug to prevent side effects.
Speaking to the BBC, Prof Jack Cuzick, who led the research and has been taking aspirin for four years, said: “Whilst there are some serious side-effects that can’t be ignored, taking aspirin daily looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement.”