Aspirins have always been a doubtful drug due to the health risks that it possesses. But a new study has shed all fears, at least for those who have chances of getting and dying from common cancers.
The study carried by a research team led by Professor Jack Cuzick of London’s Queen Mary University found that a low dose of aspirin per day could help in cutting risk of developing some types of cancer and the death risks from them.
Cuzick, who heads the centre for cancer prevention at the university, says long-term use of aspirin has the potential to significantly cut the death risk from some types of cancers including stomach, bowel, breast, oesophageal, lung and prostate illness.
Over 130,000 deaths would be avoided over a two decade period if 50- to 64-year-olds in UK had taken a low dose of aspirin daily for 10 years, the study showed.
According to the study authors, the findings of the study on efficacy of aspirin is remarkable as they suggest that the beneficial effects continued even when the aspirin is stopped.
For the study, the researchers collected data of more than 200 previous studies on the preventative use of aspirin.
Following were the findings of the study:
- Aspirin had a tremendous effect on treating gastrointestinal diseases. But the drug’s efficacy on non-gastrointestinal cancers was not impressive.
- Cases of bowel cancer could be cut by 35 percent and deaths by 40 percent if people took aspirin for 10 years.
- Cases of oesophageal and stomach cancer could be cut by 30 percent and death risk from it by 50 percent and 35 percent respectively.
- Lung and prostate cancer could be cut by 5 percent and 10 percent respectively. The deaths from both the cancers can be lowered by 15 percent.
- Breast cancer, one of the deadliest diseases among women, could be reduced by 10 percent. Deaths from this cancer form could be cut by 5 percent.
- Aspirin is highly effective in treating heart strokes, cardiovascular diseases and pregnancy complications.
- It helped in cutting heart attack risk by 18 percent. The death risks were reduced only by a 5 percent.
- The death risk from stroke also reduced by 21 percent with aspirin use.
Shedding more light on the findings, Professor Cuzick said,“Until our study, where we analysed all the available evidence, it was unclear whether the pros of taking aspirin outweighed the cons. Whilst there are some serious side effects that can’t be ignored, taking aspirin daily looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement.”
The researchers have, however, also warned against the negative impacts of aspirin and said that people who take its daily dose should keep record of their GP which will give them idea about their vulnerability to its potential side effects.