Aspirin cuts bowel cancer risk by up to two-thirds

Taking just two pills of aspirin a day can cut the risk of bowel cancer by almost two-thirds for those at the highest risk, research has found. Thousands of lives could be saved if people with a particular hereditary condition took aspirin daily, suggests the study. Scientists have described the results, published in The Lancet, as “the icing on the cake” after more than two decades of research into aspirin’s effect on cancer. Today’s study specifically looks at the preventative effect in those with a hereditary condition called Lynch Syndrome. Despite being present in only one in 1,000 people, it is responsible for one in 30 bowel cancers.

Cancer Research UK predicts the number will climb from about 298,000 in 2007 in 432,000 in 2030, which could “overwhelm NHS resources”. The biggest reason behind the rise is the ageing population, but changing lifestyles are also a factor. Cancers of the mouth, kidney and liver are forecast to be among the biggest risers, due in part to smoking and drinking. Read more…


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