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Can Aspirin Protect Against Cancer?

A large-scale study of over 600,000 people has suggested that aspirin could protect against various forms of cancer.
The Chinese University, Hong Kong, trial revealed that taking aspiring long-term (for at least six months) could reduce the risk of several digestive cancers, lung and prostate cancer, and leukemia.
In fact, compared to non-aspirin users, regular aspirin users had a:
  • 47% reduced risk of being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus or liver
  • 38% lower risk of stomach cancer
  • 35% lower risk of have lung cancer
  • 34% lower risk of pancreatic cancer
  • 24% lower risk of bowel cancer and leukemia
  • 14% lower risk of prostate cancer
Published in Gastroenterology journal, the findings were presented in October at the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) meeting in Spain.

How was the discovery made?

The research team took data from public hospitals in Hong Kong, comparing 206,295 aspirin users with 412,589 non-aspirin users.
They followed the patients for up to 14 years, during which time 16% had developed cancer.

What was the conclusion?

“The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers,” said lead researcher Professor Kelvin Tsoi from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
“What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer.”

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