Daily Aspirin Cuts Cancer Risk, Studies Say

by Chris Curley on March 22, 2012

People who take a daily aspirin tablet may have a 37-percent lower risk of dying from cancer than those who don’t take the drug regularly, CBS News reported March 21.

The longer you’ve been taking aspirin, the better your outlook, with people who’ve taken the drug daily for five years or longer having the best cancer outcomes, researchers from the University of Oxford in the U.K. report in an array of new studies. Adults who take daily aspirin also have a 25-percent lower risk of developing cancer in the first place.

Taking an aspirin a day may also mitigate cancer damage: patients who take the drug have a 36-percent lower risk of cancer spreading to other organs compared to those who don’t regularly use aspirin, the research says. In cases of colon cancer, aspirin reduced metastasis in patients by 74 percent.

“In terms of prevention, anyone with a family history would be sensible to take aspirin,” says lead researcher Peter M. Rothwell.

Previous studies have linked aspirin use to significantly reduced risk of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) and pancreatic cancer as well lower risk of stroke and heart attack. However, taking daily aspirin is not without its risks, as it can thin your blood, and may increase your likelihood of gastrointestinal and other bleeding.

The studies appear online in The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology.

Reader Question: Do you take aspirin daily? 

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