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Regular aspirin reduces cancer risk

24th August 2005

Women who take aspirin regularly for over ten years, reduce their risk of developing bowel cancer, according to a study from the Harvard Medical School.

A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that women who had taken two or more aspirin a week, significantly reduced their risk of cancer, but did increase the risk of gut bleeds.

The team examined 82,911 women, 962 of which, developed bowel cancer over a 20-year period.

It was found the women who regularly used aspirin, had a 23 per cent reduced risk of bowel cancer compared to those who did not take the drugs regularly for a period of ten years or more.

It was also discovered that the higher the dose the bigger the benefit.

The risk of bowel cancer for women taking two to five aspirin a week was 11 per cent, but those taking over 14 aspirin a week for around ten years, had a reduced risk of 32 per cent.

The researchers did reveal that the increased doses were also associated with gastrointestinal bleeding and called on more research to see if the preventive benefits outweigh the risks.