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Low-dose aspirin halves risk of some cancers - study

01 November 2017 09:18

Taking aspirin reduces risk of liver cancer by almost half

Taking aspirin reduces risk of liver cancer by almost half

Certain cancers could be kept at bay by taking one aspirin a day, new research suggests.

According to a study of more than 600,000 people, long-term use of aspirin reduces the chance of developing several digestive cancers as well as lung cancer, prostate cancer and leukaemia.

Dramatically-reduced risk

The trial analysed the prevalence of cancer in people who have taken aspirin for six months or longer - an average of 7.7 years - compared with results for those who have not.

The data was obtained over a period of 14 years.

The trial group consists of 206,295 aspirin users and 412,589 who did not take any dose of aspirin.

For the whole group, the results show that 16% developed cancer during the period. However, those taking the medication were almost half (47%) as likely to develop cancer of the liver or oesophagus.

Professor Kelvin Tsoi, lead researcher from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: "The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers.

"What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer."

Wider benefits

Stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer and bowel cancer all had much lower incidence levels, reduced by 38%, 34% and 24% respectively.

The medication is also found to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer (35%), leukaemia (24%) and prostate cancer (14%).

Despite several studies finding links between reduced risk of breast cancer and low-dose aspirin, the study finds no significant impact of aspirin on breast, bladder or kidney cancers.

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