In addition to positive heart health effects, it helps cut your risk of cancer, too, new research suggests.
The evidence that over-the-counter (OTC) medications can benefit our long-term health in meaningful ways keeps accruing. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen all have various health benefits, but aspirin is emerging as a key player in the fight against cancer. Three new studies by the same research team have shown that aspirin over the long term can reduce the risk of cancer - and its spread through the body.
One type of cancer called metastatic adenocarcinoma, which can affect the prostate, lungs, and colon, was reduced by 46 percent in people who took aspirin.
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The team's earlier work had shown that daily aspirin could reduce cancer risk over the next 20 years. Now, Peter M. Rothwell and his team have expanded on their original findings. In one large scale review of 51 earlier studies, people who took less than 300 mg of aspirin every day had a 25 percent reduced risk of developing any type of cancer after three years. It reduced the risk of death from cancer by about 15 percent. The longer people took aspirin, the better: after five years, the risk of death was reduced by 37 percent in aspirin-takers.
Another study determined how aspirin affected the spread of cancer once it had developed. People who took at least 75 mg of aspirin a day had a 36 percent reduced risk of metastatic cancer than non-aspirin takers. One type of cancer called metastatic adenocarcinoma, which can affect the prostate, lungs, and colon, was reduced by 46 percent in people who took aspirin.