A small dose of Aspirin a day can lower your chances of contracting bowel cancer, researchers from John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford University say.
In an article published in the medical journal The Lancet, the researchers explain that aspirin blocks the effects of proteins that help trigger inflammation in the body. These proteins are associated with different types of cancers, including bowel cancer.
The study which covered 14,000 people looked at the drug’s long term effectiveness against bowel cancer with assessments spanning a twenty-year period.
Lead researcher Professor Peter Rothwell of the John Radcliffe Hospital said their findings “now tip the balance in favour of regular aspirin use”.
Meanwhile, Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, is optimistic about the results: “These are very positive results. This was a big study over a long period of time and reinforces the message that aspirin may be important in significantly reducing bowel cancer.”
Although there are suggestions that aspirin should be “blanketly prescribed” to healthy middle-aged people, concerns about its side-effects such as bleeding in the gut and stomach ulcers have cast doubts over the drug’s net benefit.
Want to read more about cancer? Check out our previous posts on the Bad Effects of HRT in Breast Cancer Treatments, the effect of the anti-prostate cancer drug Abiraterone, and the effect of exercise among cancer patients.