A new study suggests that doing this could significantly reduce your overall risk of developing cancer.
You’ve probably heard it before, but the nation’s top scientists are back with yet another study touting the benefits of one of the most widely-used medications – aspirin. According to a report from CBS News, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital have presented a study suggesting that aspirin can prevent colorectal and other types of cancers when taken daily.
It’s long been known that aspirin is perfect for reducing pain, inflammation, and protecting the body against heart attacks and strokes. Evidence has suggested that aspirin has the ability to prevent colorectal cancer, but according to Dr. Andrew Chan of Massachusetts General Hospital, there are few studies linking aspirin to other types of cancer.
Aware of this lack of available data, Chan and his colleagues reviewed two large-scale studies from 136,000 health professionals who have been keeping detailed records about their health for decades. The scientists found that adults who took a dose of aspirin on a regular basis were less likely to develop cancer, and in some cases, aspirin made the difference between a positive and negative diagnosis.
Chan says that the biggest effect was on gastrointestinal cancers, including in the esophagus and the stomach. The study, published in the journal JAMA Oncology, found that the biggest benefits were seen in people who took aspirin at least two times a week.
People who used aspirin regularly saw about a 15 to 20 percent dip in the risk of developing colon cancer. The benefits of aspirin became apparent after a person had taken it for an average of six years, but the benefits lasted for a long time, Chan said.
“For folks that do not undergo screening for whatever reason, the effect of aspirin also is quite pronounced, and because we know that cancer and heart disease are really the two leading causes of death in the U.S. population, the public health impact of these findings might be substantial,” said Chan.
A press release from Massachusetts General Hospital describing the details of the study can be found here.