A group of medical researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital found that aspirin could substantially cut the risk of bowel and stomach cancers, while also providing long-lasting protection against overall cancer. Researchers noted that the drug has a protective role if one takes just two aspirin every week.
Researchers estimate that the simple approach could prevent about 10,000 of new cancer cases every year.
For their research, scientists sifted through more than three decade worth of data involving 136,000 people. The study revealed that participants who regularly took aspirin had a 3 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with any form of cancer.
Researchers also found that the risk of stomach cancer dropped 15 percent, while the risk of bowel cancer sank 19 percent in people who took two aspirin per week. Study authors noted that the risk of cancer dropped even in people with a long family history of cancer.
Dr Andrew Chan, one of the authors of the study, noted that patients at a high risk of developing the two types of cancers should consider taking aspirin as a precautionary measure.
Additionally, aspirin has another huge benefit – it can prevent heart disease on the long run if taken regularly. Chan recommend patients with a family history of heart disease and/or gastrointestinal cancer to discuss with their doctors the possibility of taking aspirin.
Past research had found that aspirin can stave off various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Other studies had revealed that it may also prevent breast, skin, liver, and ovarian cancers. It also decreases inflammation, keeps memory sharp, and prevents plaques from forming in the brain – an early sign for Alzheimer’s.
In Europe, millions of people take aspirin on a regular basis to lower their risk of heart attacks and stroke. Europeans also take the drug because it was proven to boost fertility, and prevent miscarriages.
Researchers believe that the many benefits of aspirin may be due to its ability to lower inflammation. Inflammatory processes have often been tied to cancers and other debilitating conditions. Additionally, it prevents the blood from clogging, so cancer cells can no longer stick to those clots to fend off the immune system.
Nevertheless, doctors recommend taking the wonder drug with caution because it could trigger stomach bleeding if it is taken excessively. But the latest study findings underscore the health benefits of a relatively small dose – two tablets per week – which may not lead to major complications. Aspirin’s benefits are visible after five years of uninterrupted use, researchers noted.
Image Source: Pixabay