Aspirin a day fights cancer
A daily low dose of aspirin can safeguard against the chances of suffering or dying from bowel cancer, research has shown.
Scientists who analysed 14,000 patients found that taking the painkiller over several years reduced the chances of developing cancer by a quarter. It also cut the number of deaths from the disease by more than a third.
The effective doses of the drug were relatively low, ranging from 75 to 300mg.
Previous research had suggested regular high doses of more than 500mg of aspirin can reduce bowel cancer rates.
But over-exposure to aspirin can lead to potentially dangerous side effects, such as internal bleeding and stomach ulcers.
The new study was the first to assess whether taking aspirin in lower doses had an impact on bowel cancer. Researchers gathered data from four randomised aspirin trials.
On average, patients were men and women in their 60s who took the pill for six years.
Over a period of around 20 years, 391 of the trial participants, or 2.8pc, developed bowel cancer.
Aspirin was shown to reduce the risk of the disease by 24pc and cut death rates by 35pc.
The results were published today in The Lancet medical journal.