CHICOPEE, Mass. (NBC NEWS/WWLP) – A British study says taking one aspirin a day could dramatically cut people’s chances of getting and dying from common cancers.
The study says more than 130-thousand deaths would be avoided over a 20-year period in Britain, if 50- to 64-year-olds took a daily aspirin for ten years. The beneficial effects continue even when the aspirin is stopped.
They found taking a low-dose of aspirin can cut the rates of bowel, stomach and esophageal cancers by 30- to 40-percent. Scientists determined people between ages of 50 and 65 should consider regularly taking the low-dosage tablets. The risk for gastrointestinal bleeding rises after age 70.
The research was done by a team led by Professor Jack Cuzick, head of the Center for Cancer Prevention at Queen Mary University of London. Prof. Cuzick said, “We consider this to be a very major effect, aside from stopping smoking or not starting, it’s probably the single most important you can do to prevent cancer.”
Rhonda Hunter of Belchertown said, “My only concern is the liver, and the ulcer aspect. I don’t know if they have a lot of studies on that and the side effects long term. So I really wouldn’t take it for any of those reasons.”
The study shows you need to take the aspirin for at least five years to experience the benefits, but no more than 10 years, to avoid long term side effects. Experts stress the importance of talking with your doctor before starting aspirin therapy.