New study suggests a daily dose of aspirin could prevent bowel cancer

Added 22/10/2010

Stethoscope on a book

A study conducted by Oxford University and published in medical journal, The Lancet, suggests that taking a small daily dose of aspirin could help prevent bowel cancer.

14,000 people were involved in the study over a period of 20 years — plenty of time to collect accurate results. The results revealed that taking a small daily dose of aspirin reduced the number of bowel cancer cases by 24% and deaths as a result of the disease were reduced by 35%.

Taking a regular daily dose of aspirin could lead to side effects, but experts suggest that these far outweigh the alternative. Side effects could include nose bleeds or bruising. But aspirin taken for medical reasons are around a quarter of the strength of ordinary headache tables, so the side effects shouldn’t be as intense.

People that are affected by obesity or have a family history should consider taking a daily dose of aspirin, but not before consulting their GP. Anyone considering taking a new type of medication should always contact their doctor before doing so.

Chief executive, Mark Flannagan, from registered charity Beating Bowel Cancer believes the results are a positive step towards treating bowel cancer. He said: ‘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 the number of cases and deaths from bowel cancer.’

Bowel cancer is the third most common form of cancer, with one in 20 people suffering from the disease. Every year around 16,000 die from bowel cancer. Could aspirin help to reduce this figure?

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