One Aspirin a Day Could Keep the Cancer Away

A new study published in the Annals of Oncology says that one aspirin a day could keep the cancer away.

The new study determined that people aged 50 to 65 who took an aspirin pill once a day for ten years could reduce the chances of colon cancer by 35 percent and colon cancer death by 40 percent. Esophageal and stomach cancer risk could be cut by 30 percent and resulting deaths by 35 to 50 percent.

Even if you’re not between the ages of 50 and 65, however, taking an aspirin a day could still reduce your risk of cancer and reducing cancer risk “would far outweigh any side effects,” says London University Queen Mary Cancer Head Jack Cuzick.

There are some side effects that come with aspirin ingestion, such as gastrointestinal bleeding and the possibility of peptic ulcers – but these would affect no more than 5-10% of the human population.

While American Cancer Society chief deputy medical officer Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld says that the results are encouraging enough to have a conversation with your doctor about it, the effects of aspirin in the study are circumstantial at best. “These are not randomized trials, which provide us with the best quality evidence to answer the question. You don’t have a study that compares aspirin with no aspirin.”

The study does not recommend that elderly persons aged 70 and up start taking aspirin at that age, and that a low-dose of aspirin as opposed to a high-dose produced the same results. Persons aged 60 and up who take aspirin have a 3.6% increased risk for stomach bleeding.

As to how aspirin reduces cancer risk, it is said that the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin reduce body inflammation that is often a catalyst for cancer. The study suggests that individuals must ingest one aspirin a day for 10 years in order to experience aspirin’s protective effect.